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YouTube Announces 'Black Voices Fund' for African Creators

The 100 million dollar fund is set to support and amplify the work of Black YouTube creators from Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

YouTube recently announced that it has established a 100 million dollar fund dubbed the "Black Voices Fund". According to Between 10 and 5, the fund is reportedly set to support and amplify the work of Black creators and artists from African countries namely Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa, in addition to Brazil and the United States.

READ: Struggling Creatives in South Africa's Film & Television Industry to Get Relief

Speaking about the launch of the Black Voices Fund, Alex Okosi, Managing Director of Emerging Markets at YouTube, says the following:

"Our goal is to expand funding to more countries over the course of the next three years. Additionally, we hope to provide a consistent drumbeat of educational training, workshops, and community events to Black creators and artists globally...Along with our commitment to amplify marginalised voices on the content side, we are also investing in product and policy changes that will continue to advance YouTube's mission of giving everyone a voice and showing them the world."

Nairametrics also reports that over the next three years, YouTube's Black Voices Fund will be used for original programming and ensuring Black creators thrive on the social media platform. To apply for the funding, click here.

Since various lockdowns were enforced across the world as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the entertainment and creative industries have been hardest hit with artists and creatives attempting to find new ways of making money and staying afloat in the absence of live performances and gigs.

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Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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