Reggae Riddims – The building blocks of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

“Riddim” will be the Jamaican Patois term for the particular instrumental “rhythm” monitor of a music, also known as the “groove” or perhaps the “beat”. Jamaican popular songs, and many more types of Carribbean music, are built on riddims.

Riddims usually contain some sort of prominent bass range and a particular unique drum design and are genuinely the backbone of dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, root base, dancehall, etc. Several riddims originate coming from a hit song and the riddim carries the title of the music, such as I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” for the Lava Terrain Riddim. Or, inside some cases, the riddim takes the most popular music recorded on it. For example, the Satta Massagana Riddim will be named after Typically the Abyssinians’ original track “Satta Massagana”.

At times, an artiste can voice two completely different songs in the identical riddim. And it’s very common several histrion to voiceover the particular same riddims with various lyrics and various vocal styles, starting from singing to toasting. For instance , Jah Cure’s “Call Upon Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are in 2009’s wonderful Fine Love Riddim. The success of the riddim is judged by how numerous artistes “juggle” it, or make their own own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will determine set up tune is big and, when so, other histrion will write new lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Right now there can be more than a dozen popular current riddims, but there will be usually only a few “hot” riddims at any given time. Histrion have to report over these warm riddims if that they want a far better shot at having their songs played out in the dancehalls or on the particular radio. Often times the dance is even created in honor of the riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who is able to forget about the world’s speediest man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always originate from reggae; some downtown contemporary songs may become riddims as properly. The instrumental involving Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has turned into a popular riddim; many dancehall performers have recorded songs while using track. Some other songs have influenced riddims too, these kinds of as George Michael’s song “Faith, inches which became some sort of riddim of the identical label, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which usually became the Baghdad Riddim.

Sorts of riddims

Riddims are African-american in origin in addition to are generally one particular of three forms. The oldest, typically the “classical” riddim, offers the instrumentals regarding dub, roots reggae and lovers’ stone (well known manufacturers include Sly as well as 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 usually created with computers, synthesizers and trommel machines; basically, these people are really electronic digital riddims.

The associated with technology changed the whole business. No more time do you need to pay with regard to studio time and retain the services of musicians! This opened up the company to some whole new generation of makers, musicians and performers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and even Soca are digital. Digital riddims, together with the international reach and acceptance of dancehall, have also spawned the particular 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 even samplers, and voicing over them with new artistes. Jamaica has been versioning since the 1960s. Many of these riddims will be decades old, many of them taken from Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio, Studio One. Some terrific riddims came out of Studio One particular in the ’60s and ’70s, and you may still hear all of them versioned in constant rotation by noise systems today.

Versioning can be questionable, nevertheless , because many of those which produced the initial classic riddims in no way got paid with regard to the riddims them selves. It would end up being nice to acquire some “royalties”!! Although today’s artists believe they’re inspired simply by these classics and even paying respect by versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely heavily on versions though, in the previous decade, we saw less of this training with a huge selection of creative new riddims getting released.

The explosion of dancehall recently generated many new riddims. But a few are actually being versioned as well. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-known in 2008, seemed to be a version associated with 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So that it appears old riddims in no way die!


Regarding course, creating a new new and authentic riddim is far more difficult than versioning an aged one! Here are usually some of the best original riddim producers from the prior & present: Dark-colored Chiney (sound program, 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 documents, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

satta matka Two of the hottest young makers of the brand new millennium share the surname but are usually not related. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of seasoned singer Freddie McGregor, can provide one of my favored dancehall riddims associated with modern times, the Tingling Riddim (2007), been vocal by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Paul (“Watch Them Roll”), and others. This talented musician’s riddims are usually so popular that more than a new dozen people might voice over each associated with them.

The other young star manufacturer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is certainly responsible for a few of the hottest hits recently and, in my opinion, the very best beginnings reggae riddims in order to come out involving Jamaica (or typically the world, for of which matter) in many years, such as: 2005’s Victorious Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah Zero Me Dat” as well as Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Traditional Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Ras Shiloh’s “Soon Seeing that 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 involving artistes voicing his riddims – experts and novices as well – definitely anything to appeal in order to everyone. The two of these makers are in entrance of Jamaica’s current hitmakers!

For me personally, is actually the smooth reggae beats that get me grooving plus swaying; for others it is the hard striper lines they enjoy within the dancehall ground. Regardless of your preference, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Take pleasure in!

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