Reggae Riddims – The building blocks of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

“Riddim” could be the Jamaican Patois term for the instrumental “rhythm” keep track of of a song, also known as the “groove” or the “beat”. Jamaican popular songs, and many more types of Carribbean music, are developed on riddims.

Riddims usually incorporate a new prominent bass collection and a certain unique drum style and are truly the backbone of dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, roots, dancehall, etc. Numerous riddims originate from a hit song and the riddim carries the brand of the track, by way of example I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” for the Lava Surface Riddim. Or, throughout some cases, the particular riddim takes the most popular track upon it. Intended for example, the Satta Massagana Riddim is named after Typically the Abyssinians’ original track “Satta Massagana”.

From time to time, an artiste will certainly voice two totally different songs upon the identical riddim. And it’s extremely common for various artistes to voiceover the same riddims with various lyrics and various vocal styles, varying from singing in order to toasting. For instance , Jah Cure’s “Call About Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are typical in 2009’s wonderful Fine Love Riddim. The particular success of some sort of riddim is regarded by how several artistes “juggle” that, or make their own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will determine whether or not the tune is definitely big and, in case so, other artistes will write brand new lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

There can be a lot more than a dozens of popular current riddims, but there will be usually only some “hot” riddims at any moment. Histrion have to record over these sizzling riddims if that they want a much better shot at receiving their songs played in the dancehalls or on the radio. Often the dance is still created in honor of typically the riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or that can overlook the world’s most effective man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always result from reggae; some city contemporary songs can become riddims as properly. The instrumental regarding Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has turned into a popular riddim; many dancehall musicians have recorded songs using the track. Other songs have inspired riddims too, this kind of as George Michael’s song “Faith, ” which became a new riddim of the same label, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which became the Baghdad Riddim.

Forms of riddims

Riddims are African-american in origin in addition to are generally one of three forms. The oldest, the particular “classical” riddim, supplies the instrumentals regarding dub, roots reggae and lovers’ stone (well known makers include Sly and Robbie). The “ragga” riddim backs (or used to back) raggamuffin and dancehall songs. And “digital” riddims (e. grams., King Jammy’s Sleng Teng Riddim) are created with personal computers, synthesizers and drum machines; put simply, they are really electronic digital riddims.

The associated with technology changed the entire business. No lengthier must you pay intended for studio some seek the services of musicians! This exposed up the enterprise to a whole new generation of makers, musicians and artists. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are electronic. Digital riddims, together with the international reach and recognition of dancehall, include also spawned typically the creation of a growing number of popular riddims outside the house Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the expression for recycling or perhaps rejuvenating old riddims using computers and samplers, and voicing over them along with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the sixties. Many of these riddims will be decades old, many of them appearing out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston facility, Studio One. Some good riddims came out and about of Studio 1 in the ’60s and ’70s, and you may still hear all of them versioned in frequent rotation by sound systems today.

Versioning can be controversial, nevertheless , because many of those who produced the original classic riddims never ever got paid with regard to the riddims by themselves. It would end up being nice to acquire some “royalties”!! Nevertheless today’s artists argue that they’re inspired by simply these classics in addition to paying respect simply by versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely intensely on versions even though, in the earlier decade, we saw less of this exercise with countless imaginative new riddims being released.

The huge increase of dancehall in recent years generated many modern riddims. But several are already being versioned too. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-liked in 2008, had been a version regarding 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. satta So it looks old riddims never ever die!


Regarding course, creating some sort of new and authentic riddim is much more difficult as compared to versioning an older one! Here are really some of the particular best original riddim producers from the recent & present: Dark-colored Chiney (sound technique, DJ, producer), Bobby “Digital B” Dixon (producer), Clement “Coxsone” Dodd (producer, Studio room One records), Donovan Germain (producer, Penthouse Studio), Joe Gibbs (producer), King Jammy (dub mixer, producer), King Tubby (dub mixer, producer 1960s-1980s), Duke Reid (producer, Treasure Isle information, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

A pair of the hottest young manufacturers of the brand new millennium share a surname but are not related. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of expert singer Freddie McGregor, can boast of one particular of my preferred dancehall riddims of recent times, the Tingling Riddim (2007), voiced by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Robert (“Watch Them Roll”), and others. This accomplished musician’s riddims are so popular that will more than a new dozen people may well voice over each involving them.

The other young star maker is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is certainly responsible for some of the hottest hits recently and, in the opinion, the top roots reggae riddims in order to come out of Jamaica (or the world, for that matter) in yrs, for example: 2005’s Triumphant Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah Zero Me Dat” & Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Classic Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Ras Shiloh’s “Soon While We Rise”), plus Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See A person Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love the particular wide mix regarding artistes voicing his riddims – veterans and novices likewise – definitely anything to appeal to everyone. These two producers are in top of Jamaica’s current hitmakers!

For me, really the smooth reggae beats that obtain me grooving and even swaying; for other people it’s the hard bass sounds lines they take pleasure in on the dancehall ground. No matter your preference, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Delight in!


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