At first I wondered how I would write about YouTube Channels, given that I am not much of a “YouTuber.” Or so I thought. Turns out, I was an unaware YouTuber. Anyway, here are a few channels that are pretty cool and worth checking out!

1) Sway’s Universe

Sway’s Universe is primarily an interview show on hip-hop culture. Sway Calloway started out with a hip-hop radio show in the Bay Area, Northern California. Sway and his co-host, Tech, hosted the popular radio show called, The Wake Up Show, in the 90’s. He later moved to L.A., where he interviewed some of the most famous hip-hop artists of all time. In fact, some of the most famous freestyles in hip-hop history were also on The Wake Up Show.

Now Sway hosts a radio show on Serious XM called, Sway in the Morning– on Sway’s Universe, you will find interviews from Sway in the Morning. These interviews are with people from pretty much all the different elements in the hip-hop industry- artists, producers, movie stars.

Sway in the Morning, and consequently Sway’s Universe, is now one of the most popular channels on YouTube. Enough so that you can’t call yourself a true hip-hop fan if you don’t know who Sway Calloway is.

I would recommend watching Sway, especially to peep new and up-coming artists who rap and freestyle on his show. Artists like Lil dicky, Kendrick Lamar, chance the rapper, Childish Gambino and Logic have all freestyled on Sway’s Universe, setting records for all- time views for rap freestyles. Logic’s freestyle on Sway in the Morning was actually really good.

You will also find some great underground artists on this show- Sway gives a voice to a lot of aspiring hip-hop talent. If you’re into hip-hop, or you want or learn more about this genre and culture, you should definitely subscribe to Sway’s Universe.

2) Kurzgesagt

Kurzgesagt, which in German means “in a nutshell”, is a super interesting channel to subscribe to. You will find short clips on some really dense subject matter presented in a clear fashion, with fun animation. The channel simplifies and boils down topics like worm holes, vaccines, time and string theory. The channel is based out of Munich and is perhaps best known for their distinctive animation videos. Kurzgesagt is great even if you have a short attention span, owing to the fact that almost none of their clips exceed the 10 minute mark.

A particularly interesting clip they did, in my opinion, was on the topic of simulations, called, Is Reality Real? The Simulation Argument. Essentially, the argument presented causes one to ruminate about the possibility that our existence is nothing more than a simulation created by a more advanced civilisation- something along the lines of a highly detailed SIMS game.

3) Last Week Tonight

Hosted by John Oliver, Last Week Tonight covers news, politics and current events in highly satirical manner. The show, as the name suggests, addresses specific issues with the wider topics mentioned above on a weekly basis- that is, what happened last week. The range of topics covered does not centre solely around affairs in the United States, which makes it interesting enough for a broad audience. The videos remain engaging, with excellent humour, whilst promising to give you real information on important issues.

The episode’s main segment usually covers, in length and detail, a political issue- irrespective of whether that issue got any news media attention during the preceding week. By using cut-aways and short segments of jokes that aren’t necessarily related to the topic at hand, the show creates something like pseudo advertisements. This helps segment each episode clearly and makes it rather entertaining at the same time. On the top left corner, you’ll find regular displays of photos or graphics to support the humour. Some of his best include, Paris Agreement, Vaccines and Mental Health.

4) Veritasium

Veritasium- derived from the Latin word for truth, and is defined as “element of truth”- is primarily an educational channel, focusing on science and engineering videos. The show varies the way in which it presents complex material by doing different things- these include, experiments, interviews with experts, fun demos, songs, dramatisations and public discussions. An interesting angle that Veritasium takes is the way in which its episodes uncover common misconceptions about science and how the world works.

The host, Derek Muller, won the Streamy award for Science or Education in 2017 and has hosted a number of award winning documentaries. In short, he is an accomplished scientist so you can at least trust the material he presents on his show.

Muller describes the goals of his show as follows,

The initial goal was to make science beautiful, starting off with the simplest ideas and building them up into more complex theories. The focus has shifted somewhat to addressing counter-intuitive concepts in science, usually beginning by discussing ideas with members of the public.

Derek Muller, The Royal Institution
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5) Funny Or Die

Funny Or Die started with Will Ferrel and Adam McKay when they made a video about a vulgar and crude toddler who demanded her rent money. From there, their funny videos began to gain popularity quickly and the show took off. One of my favourites is Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. Almost all episodes, in my opinion, are hilarious- especially the episode with Barack Obama, and also the episode with Bradley Cooper.

Funny Or Die does short videos on virtually everything, including, as they state on their “About” page, hoverboards and forehead tittaes– if you’re wondering, I did not misspell the word “tittaes”.

They are now a full-service comedy studio and have created a whole lot of longer specials and series. Some of these include- American Vandal (Netflix) and The Royal Wedding Live with Cord and Tish (HBO).

In line with the humour of the show, it is not surprising that Funny Or Die proudly boasts about winning Emmy’s and Peabody Awards for their TV shows, and Clios and Golden Lions for their branded content. Next up, they say, is “a Nobel Peace Prize for I Love You, America (Hulu).”

Funny Or Die describe their passion for comedy as,

… a passion for treating talent well and making premium comedy that never fails to surprise people, including ourselves. With those principles as our constant guide, we look forward to dominating the known comedy universe and one day, perhaps, maybe even breaking even.

Funny Or Die

6) Tasty

So far I have not mentioned any cooking channels. As such I figured it would be best to talk about at least one. And this one has, I believe, has over 14 million subscribers on YouTube and over 30 million on Facebook- which means that it is popular. It was started by Buzzfeed and ended up dominating online food. In fact, The New York Times did an article called, “How BuzzFeed’s Tasty Conquered Online Food,” calling Tasty,

…a division of BuzzFeed that has turned the overhead food video into a hypergrowth business.

Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times

I have recently taken a like to cooking, especially cooking pasta. So, I checked out their Pâtes À La Crème recipe. I must say, turned out pretty great and I didn’t have to go shopping.

The videos are short and fast paced, which is really great for easy tasty recipes. Tasty has grown at an unprecedented rate, and it is at least worth checking out. Another similarly styled but less known channel is Yummefy, featuring videos that are usually below the 5 minute mark. I’d say there are some good recipes on Yummefy. But they are rather new, so you are likely to find more on Tasty.

7) ||Superwoman||

Most you have probably heard about Lilly Singh, commonly known as Superwoman. She started making videos around nine years ago as a means of expression, like an outlet. Her videos made people laugh, enough so that she has come to become a worldwide sensation. In addition to Superwoman, Lilly Singh also has another channel for vlogging called, SuperwomanVlogs.

Her channel consists in comedy sketch videos that are usually based on ethnic and cultural or gender stereotypes. Often, you will find that she brings in her Punjabi parents, only adding to the hilarity of her videos. Through humour, a lot of her videos address underlying social issues. She also does a ton of pure fun stuff. For instance, I quite liked her video on The Struggles of Grinding, given the troubles I would likely face as a bad dancer attempting to grind.

Lilly Singh has now started her own production company called, Unicorn Island and is getting her own NBC Late-Night show– the show is called, A Little Late With Lilly Singh. You guys should check out this little friendship moment clip Lilly Singh has with Jimmy Fallon on his late-night show, which I’ll talk about below.

One last thing that I think is awesome, and worth mentioning, is Lilly Singh’s Girl Love campaign– tackling the cycle of “girl-on-girl” hate, and promoting the view that girls and women ought to be able to encourage and complement each other. I know this was over four years ago but it remains to be extremely relevant. I want to remind all the beautiful ladies out there to love and encourage each other, and promote positivity.

8) The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

The premise of the show is rather straightforward- Jimmy Fallon invites well-known personalities onto the show and asks them questions about their lives and career. Of course, the show is funny, which means there is back and forth banter between the host and his guests. You might remember Jimmy Fallon from Saturday Night Live.

The Tonight Show has been hosted by Jimmy Fallon since 2009, and has seen many hosts before then. It is now the third longest-running NBC show, and is one of the most regularly scheduled shows in the United States. Again, I found his episode with Barack Obama to be quite entertaining.

9) Ted-Ed

Beautiful, fun, videos that help you learn something new, what better way to describe Ted-Ed? Most of you I’m sure to have watched your fair share of Ted talks, or at least you’ve heard of Ted talks. Personally, I am fond of them. TedEd is Ted but with lessons and courses instead of lectures and talks.

As with Ted talks, TedEd has a ton of concise, yet interesting, videos on a number of topics. They also have lessons on subjects like philosophy, social studies, religion, and teaching & education. TedEd is different, more niche in a lot of ways. TedEd offers students the option to join Club Programmes and then, perhaps, proceed to present your ideas in Ted-style talks. Follow this link to learn more about how TedEd helps students. Some of the super cool, in my opinion, lessons that TedEd offers include- A brief history of dogs, What “Machiavellian” really means, The wicked wit of Jane Austen,
Does time exist?, History through the eyes of a chicken, and What’s a smartphone made of?

10) Amazing Space (or Space Videos)

A channel that is concerned with space beyond our atmosphere, Space Videos is what you think it is- videos taken from space. These videos are high resolution and include clips of the sun and a collection of time-lapse videos as well. Their mission reads,

We promote the science and majestic beauty of the universe to the education community. 

Amazing Space

They claim that their material is based upon work supported by NASA, the ESA (European Space Agency), and other reliable sources- either way, the images are great if you’re interested space.

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