Reggae Riddims – The Foundation of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

“Riddim” is the Jamaican Patois term for typically the instrumental “rhythm” track of a song, also known as the “groove” or even the “beat”. Jamaican popular songs, and many other types of Carribbean music, are built on riddims.

Riddims usually incorporate a prominent bass series and a specific unique drum pattern and are genuinely the backbone regarding dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, beginnings, dancehall, etc. A lot of riddims originate through a hit music and the riddim carries the label of the song, by way of example I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” around the Lava Ground Riddim. Or, throughout some cases, typically the riddim takes the most popular music recorded on it. With regard to example, the Satta Massagana Riddim will be named after The particular Abyssinians’ original tune “Satta Massagana”.

From time to time, an artiste will certainly voice two completely different songs in the identical riddim. And it’s extremely common for various histrion to voice over typically the same riddims with various lyrics and distinct vocal styles, ranging from singing in order to toasting. For instance , Jah Cure’s “Call In Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are upon 2009’s wonderful Fine Love Riddim. The particular success of some sort of riddim is evaluated by how many artistes “juggle” it, or make their very own own vocal interpretations of it. Jamaican audiences will assess set up tune is definitely big and, in case so, other artistes will write fresh lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

There can be a lot more than a 12 popular current riddims, but there are usually just one or two “hot” riddims at any given time. Artistes have to report over these sizzling riddims if they want a much better shot at having their songs played out in the dancehalls or on typically the radio. Often the dance is still created honoring typically the riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who is able to forget the world’s quickest man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always result from reggae; some metropolitan contemporary songs may become riddims as effectively. The instrumental involving Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has turned into a popular riddim; many dancehall designers have recorded music utilizing the track. Various other songs have motivated riddims too, such as George Michael’s song “Faith, inches which became a riddim of the same label, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which in turn became the Baghdad Riddim.

Sorts of riddims

Riddims are African-american in origin and even are generally a single of three types. The oldest, typically the “classical” riddim, provides the instrumentals with regard to dub, roots reggae and lovers’ rock and roll (well known manufacturers include Sly & Robbie). The “ragga” riddim backs (or used to back) raggamuffin and dancehall songs. And “digital” riddims (e. h., King Jammy’s Sleng Teng Riddim) are really created with computers, synthesizers and trommel machines; in other words, that they are really digital riddims.

The creation of technology changed the whole business. No lengthier do you need to pay with regard to studio as well as hire musicians! This opened up the enterprise to a whole brand new generation of manufacturers, musicians and performers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are electronic. Digital riddims, together with the worldwide reach and popularity of dancehall, possess also spawned the creation of more and more popular riddims outside Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the phrase for recycling or even rejuvenating old riddims using computers in addition to samplers, and voicing over them along with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the 60s. Many of these riddims will be decades old, a lot of of them appearing out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio room, Studio One. Some terrific riddims came away of Studio A single in the ’60s and ’70s, and you will probably still hear all of them versioned in continuous rotation by audio systems today.

Versioning can be questionable, yet , because several of those which produced the unique classic riddims by no means got paid with regard to the riddims themselves. It would become nice to acquire some “royalties”!! Although today’s artists believe they’re inspired by simply these classics plus paying respect simply by versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely intensely on versions despite the fact that, in the earlier decade, we read less of the exercise with countless innovative new riddims becoming released.

The huge increase of dancehall in recent times generated many great new riddims. matka But a few are actually being versioned too. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-known in 2008, has been a version of 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So it seems old riddims by no means die!


Associated with course, creating the new and unique riddim is very good more difficult compared to versioning an older one! Here are generally some of the best original riddim producers from the history & present: Dark-colored Chiney (sound technique, DJ, producer), Bobby “Digital B” Dixon (producer), Clement “Coxsone” Dodd (producer, Facility 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 data, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of typically the hottest young producers of the fresh millennium share the surname but are generally not related. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of expert singer Freddie McGregor, can boast of one particular of my favourite dancehall riddims regarding the past few years, the Tingling Riddim (2007), been vocal by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Robert (“Watch Them Roll”), yet others. This gifted musician’s riddims will be so popular of which more than the dozen people may well voice over each associated with them.

The additional young star maker is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is definitely responsible for a few of the hottest hits recently and, in our opinion, the very best origins reggae riddims to be able to come out associated with Jamaica (or typically the world, for that will matter) in many years, by way of example: 2005’s Triumphant Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah No more Me Dat” as well as Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Typical Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Igualdad Shiloh’s “Soon Seeing that We Rise”), and even Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See An individual Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love typically the wide mix regarding artistes voicing his riddims – veterans and novices as well – definitely something to appeal in order to everyone. Both of these manufacturers are out in front side of Jamaica’s existing hitmakers!

To me, it can the smooth reggae beats that obtain me grooving and swaying; for other people it’s the hard largemouth bass lines they delight in for the dancehall ground. No matter your preference, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Enjoy!


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