Reggae Riddims – The Foundation of Reggae Music


What is a reggae “riddim? “

“Riddim” may be the Jamaican Patois term for the particular instrumental “rhythm” trail of a song, also known since the “groove” or even the “beat”. Jamaican popular songs, and many other types of Caribbean music, are built on riddims.

Riddims usually contain a new prominent bass range and a specific unique drum style and are really the backbone involving dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, root base, dancehall, etc. Many riddims originate by a hit music and the riddim carries the name of the tune, for example I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” around the Lava Floor Riddim. Or, throughout some cases, typically the riddim takes the name of the most popular music recorded on it. With regard to example, the Satta Massagana Riddim will be named after The particular Abyssinians’ original track “Satta Massagana”.

From time to time, an artiste can voice two totally different songs about the identical riddim. And it’s extremely common several histrion to voice over the same riddims based on a lyrics and diverse vocal styles, running from singing to toasting. For example , Jah Cure’s “Call Upon Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are typical about 2009’s wonderful Great Love Riddim. Typically the success of the riddim is regarded by how many artistes “juggle” this, or make their very own own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will assess whether or not the tune is usually big and, when so, other histrion will write new lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Generally there can be more than a dozen popular current riddims, but there usually are usually just one or two “hot” riddims at the same time. Histrion have to record over these very hot riddims if they want a better shot at obtaining their songs performed in the dancehalls or on the particular radio. Frequently some sort of dance is still created honoring the particular riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who is able to overlook the world’s speediest 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 associated with Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has turned into a popular riddim; many dancehall performers have recorded tunes while using track. Additional songs have motivated riddims too, these kinds of as George Michael’s song “Faith, very well which became a new riddim of the same brand, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which often became the Baghdad Riddim.

Types of riddims

Riddims are Africa in origin and are generally 1 of three varieties. The oldest, the particular “classical” riddim, supplies the instrumentals for dub, roots reggae and lovers’ stone (well known producers include Sly & Robbie). The “ragga” riddim backs (or used to back) raggamuffin and dancehall songs. And “digital” riddims (e. g., King Jammy’s Sleng Teng Riddim) are created with personal computers, synthesizers and drum machines; put simply, they will are really electronic riddims.

The associated with technology changed the complete business. No longer should you pay with regard to studio some seek the services of musicians! This opened up the enterprise to some whole new generation of suppliers, musicians and entertainers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall plus Soca are electronic digital. Digital riddims, together with the global reach and recognition of dancehall, possess also spawned the particular creation of increasingly more popular riddims outside Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the phrase for recycling or rejuvenating old riddims using computers and samplers, and giving voice over them with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the sixties. Some of these riddims will be decades old, many of them appearing out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio, Studio One. Some good riddims came away of Studio A single in the ’60s and ’70s, and you should still hear these people versioned in regular rotation by audio systems today.

Versioning can be debatable, however , because many of those that produced the initial classic riddims by no means got paid regarding the riddims on their own. It would be nice to get some “royalties”!! But today’s artists believe they’re inspired by simply these classics and even paying respect by simply versioning and re-popularizing them. satta matka Many Jamaican producers rely intensely on versions although, in the past decade, we have seen less on this exercise with numerous imaginative new riddims being released.

The huge increase of dancehall in recent years generated many great new riddims. But a few are actually being versioned at the same time. The Incomplete Business Riddim, well-known in 2008, had been a version involving 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So it seems old riddims never ever die!


Regarding course, creating a new and initial riddim is very good more difficult than versioning an aged one! Here are really some of the particular best original riddim producers through the history & present: Dark-colored Chiney (sound program, 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 documents, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of typically the hottest young producers of the brand new millennium share a new surname but are really not related. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of experienced singer Freddie McGregor, can provide one of my preferred dancehall riddims of recent times, the Tremor Riddim (2007), been vocal by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Paul (“Watch Them Roll”), while others. This accomplished musician’s riddims usually are so popular of which more than a new dozen people may possibly voice over each involving them.

The other young star maker is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is certainly responsible for a number of the hottest hits recently and, in the opinion, the most effective roots reggae riddims in order to come out regarding Jamaica (or typically the world, for that will matter) in years, by way of 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 Traditional Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Ras Shiloh’s “Soon As We Rise”), plus Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See An individual Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love typically the wide mix of artistes voicing their riddims – veterans and novices equally – definitely anything to appeal to be able to everyone. The two of these manufacturers are in front side of Jamaica’s current hitmakers!

To me, it can the smooth reggae beats that acquire me grooving and even swaying; for other people it is the hard largemouth bass lines they enjoy for the dancehall floor. No matter your desire, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Enjoy!

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