Reggae Riddims – The building blocks of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

“Riddim” could be the Jamaican Patois term for the instrumental “rhythm” track of a tune, also known since the “groove” or even the “beat”. Jamaican popular songs, and many other types of Caribbean music, are developed on riddims.

Riddims usually contain a prominent bass series and a particular unique drum style and are truly the backbone regarding dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, beginnings, dancehall, etc. A lot of riddims originate coming from a hit tune and the riddim carries the brand of the music, such as I-Wayne’s 2004 hit “Lava Ground” around the Lava Floor Riddim. Or, throughout some cases, the riddim takes the most popular tune recorded on it. Regarding example, the Satta Massagana Riddim is definitely named after The Abyssinians’ original track “Satta Massagana”.

Sometimes, an artiste will certainly voice two completely different songs upon the identical riddim. And it’s extremely common several artistes to voice over the particular same riddims with various lyrics and different vocal styles, varying from singing in order to toasting. For example , Jah Cure’s “Call On Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are all about 2009’s wonderful Fine Love Riddim. The success of a new riddim is regarded by how numerous artistes “juggle” this, or make their own own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will determine whether or not the tune is big and, if so, other artistes will write new lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

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

The riddims don’t always result from reggae; some metropolitan contemporary songs could become riddims as effectively. The instrumental associated with Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has turned into a popular riddim; many dancehall performers have recorded music utilizing the track. Additional songs have motivated riddims too, these kinds of as George Michael’s song “Faith, inch which became a riddim of the identical title, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which often became the Baghdad Riddim.

Sorts of riddims

Riddims are Photography equipment in origin in addition to are generally 1 of three forms. The oldest, the particular “classical” riddim, supplies 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. grams., King Jammy’s Sleng Teng Riddim) are created with personal computers, synthesizers and trommel machines; quite simply, these people are really electric riddims.

The creation of technology changed the whole business. No more time do you need to pay regarding studio time and hire musicians! dpboss This opened up the enterprise into a whole fresh generation of producers, musicians and entertainers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are electronic. Digital riddims, alongside with the international reach and recognition of dancehall, have also spawned the particular creation of more and more popular riddims exterior Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the term for recycling or perhaps rejuvenating old riddims using computers and samplers, and giving voice over them using new artistes. Jamaica has been versioning since the nineteen sixties. Many of these riddims will be decades old, many of them coming out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio, Studio One. Some good riddims came out of Studio A single in the ’60s and ’70s, and you will still hear all of them versioned in frequent rotation by sound systems today.

Versioning can be debatable, nevertheless , because many of those who else produced the initial classic riddims by no means got paid intended for the riddims on their own. It would always be nice to acquire some “royalties”!! Although today’s artists argue that they’re inspired by simply these classics plus 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 on this exercise with hundreds of innovative new riddims being released.

The surge of dancehall lately generated many great new riddims. But a few are already being versioned too. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-known in 2008, has been a version associated with 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So it seems old riddims never ever die!


Of course, creating a new and authentic riddim is very good more difficult as compared to versioning an aged one! Here are generally some of typically the best original riddim producers in the recent & present: Dark Chiney (sound program, DJ, producer), Bobby “Digital B” Dixon (producer), Clement “Coxsone” Dodd (producer, Studio 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 records, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of the hottest young makers of the brand new millennium share a surname but are really not related. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of experienced singer Freddie McGregor, can feature one of my favorite dancehall riddims regarding recent times, the Tremor Riddim (2007), voiced by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Robert (“Watch Them Roll”), and others. This skilled musician’s riddims are usually so popular of which more than a new dozen people may possibly voice over each of them.

The other young star producer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is usually responsible for a number of the hottest hits in recent years and, in my opinion, the very best beginnings reggae riddims in order to come out associated with Jamaica (or typically the world, for that will matter) in many years, by way of example: 2005’s Victorious Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah No Me Dat” and Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Typical Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Altura Shiloh’s “Soon As We Rise”), plus Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See A person Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love typically the wide mix involving artistes voicing their riddims – old soldiers and novices equally – definitely something to appeal in order to everyone. Both of these producers are in entrance of Jamaica’s present hitmakers!

For me, it can the smooth reggae beats that get me grooving plus swaying; for other folks it is the hard bass lines they take pleasure in on the dancehall floor. Regardless of your preference, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Delight in!

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