Reggae Riddims – The building blocks of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

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

Riddims usually consist of a prominent bass series and a particular unique drum style and are genuinely the backbone associated with dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, beginnings, dancehall, etc. Many riddims originate coming from a hit music and the riddim carries the name of the tune, one example is I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” for the Lava Surface Riddim. Or, throughout some cases, the particular 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 song “Satta Massagana”.

From time to time, an artiste may voice two totally different songs about the identical riddim. And it’s very common several artistes to voice over typically the same riddims with various lyrics and various vocal styles, starting from singing to be able to toasting. For example , Jah Cure’s “Call About Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are typical in 2009’s wonderful Great Love Riddim. The particular success of some sort of riddim is judged by how many artistes “juggle” it, or make their own own vocal interpretations of it. Jamaican audiences will determine whether or not the tune is certainly big and, when so, other histrion will write new lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Generally there can be a lot more than a 12 popular current riddims, but there will be usually just one or two “hot” riddims at any given time. Artistes have to document over these hot riddims if they want a far better shot at receiving their songs played in the dancehalls or on the radio. Frequently a dance is including created in honor of the particular riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who can overlook the world’s quickest man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always originate from reggae; some metropolitan contemporary songs can become riddims as well. The instrumental of Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has changed into a popular riddim; many dancehall performers have recorded tracks using the track. Additional songs have influenced riddims too, this sort of as George Michael’s song “Faith, inches which became the riddim of the same brand, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which became the Baghdad Riddim.

Varieties of riddims

Riddims are African in origin and even are generally 1 of three forms. The oldest, typically the “classical” riddim, supplies the instrumentals intended for dub, roots reggae and lovers’ rock and roll (well known suppliers 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 usually created with personal computers, synthesizers and trommel machines; put simply, these people are really electronic riddims.

The creation of technology changed the complete business. No lengthier should you pay intended for studio time and seek the services of musicians! matka This opened up the business to a whole new generation of manufacturers, musicians and performers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are electronic. Digital riddims, alongside with the global reach and reputation of dancehall, have got also spawned typically the creation of a lot more popular riddims exterior Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the term for recycling or even rejuvenating old riddims using computers and even samplers, and giving voice over them together with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the 1960s. Many of these riddims are decades old, a lot of of them coming out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio, Studio One. Some terrific riddims came away of Studio One particular in the ’60s and ’70s, and you will still hear these people versioned in constant rotation by sound systems today.

Versioning can be controversial, nevertheless , because many of those that produced the initial classic riddims never got paid regarding the riddims by themselves. It would always be nice to find some “royalties”!! Yet today’s artists argue that they’re inspired by simply these classics and even paying respect by simply versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely greatly on versions although, in the previous decade, we have seen less with this training with numerous imaginative new riddims getting released.

The huge increase of dancehall recently generated many modern riddims. But a few are already being versioned as well. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-known in 2008, seemed to be a version associated with 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. Therefore it seems old riddims never die!


Of course, creating some sort of new and initial riddim is far more difficult as compared to versioning an aged one! Here are usually some of the best original riddim producers through 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 the particular hottest young manufacturers of the fresh millennium share a surname but are not related. Sophie “Di Genius” McGregor, son of veteran singer Freddie McGregor, can feature one particular of my preferred dancehall riddims of recent times, the Tingling Riddim (2007), voiced by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean John (“Watch Them Roll”), and others. This accomplished musician’s riddims will be so popular that more than a dozen people may voice over each associated with them.

The various other young star developer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is certainly responsible for some of the hottest hits recently and, in our opinion, the most effective origins reggae riddims to be able to come out of Jamaica (or the particular world, for of which matter) in yrs, such as: 2005’s Triumphal 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 Classic Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Igualdad Shiloh’s “Soon As We Rise”), plus Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See You Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love the particular wide mix involving artistes voicing his / her riddims – old soldiers and novices as well – definitely something to appeal to everyone. Those two producers are out in top of Jamaica’s present hitmakers!

To me, really the smooth reggae beats that get me grooving and swaying; for some others it’s the hard bass sounds lines they take pleasure in for the dancehall ground. No matter your desire, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Take pleasure in!

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