Reggae Riddims – The Foundation of Reggae Music


What is a reggae “riddim? “

“Riddim” is the Jamaican Patois term for the particular instrumental “rhythm” track of a tune, 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 range and a specific unique drum routine and are genuinely the backbone regarding dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, root base, dancehall, etc. Numerous riddims originate coming from a hit track and the riddim carries the title of the tune, such as I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” on the Lava Ground Riddim. Or, within some cases, the particular riddim takes the most popular tune upon it. Intended for example, the Satta Massagana Riddim is named after Typically the Abyssinians’ original track “Satta Massagana”.

Sometimes, an artiste can voice two entirely different songs in the identical riddim. And it’s really common for different histrion to voice over typically the same riddims with various lyrics and various vocal styles, ranging from singing to be able to toasting. For instance , Jah Cure’s “Call Upon Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are all in 2009’s wonderful Fine Love Riddim. The particular success of a new riddim is regarded by how several artistes “juggle” it, or make their very own own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will assess whether or not the tune is usually big and, in case so, other histrion will write fresh lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Generally there can be more than a 12 popular current riddims, but there are usually usually only a few “hot” riddims at any given time. Histrion have to record over these very hot riddims if they will want a far better shot at getting their songs enjoyed in the dancehalls or on the particular radio. Many times a dance is including created in honor of the particular riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who can neglect the world’s most effective man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always result from reggae; some downtown contemporary songs could become riddims as properly. The instrumental of Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has become a popular riddim; many dancehall designers have recorded songs using the track. Some other songs have inspired riddims too, this sort of as George Michael’s song “Faith, very well which became a new riddim of the identical brand, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which often became the Baghdad Riddim.

Forms of riddims

Riddims are Photography equipment in origin in addition to are generally one of three sorts. The oldest, the particular “classical” riddim, supplies the instrumentals intended for dub, roots reggae and lovers’ mountain (well known makers 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 really created with computers, synthesizers and trommel machines; in other words, they are really electric riddims.

The creation of technology changed the whole business. No longer do you need to pay for studio time and retain the services of musicians! This exposed up the company to a whole new generation of producers, musicians and entertainers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are digital. Digital riddims, alongside with the global reach and recognition of dancehall, possess also spawned the particular creation of a growing number of popular riddims exterior Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the name for recycling or perhaps rejuvenating old riddims using computers and even samplers, and voicing over them along with new artistes. Jamaica has been versioning since the 60s. A few of these riddims are usually decades old, numerous of them taken from Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio room, Studio One. Some terrific riddims came out of Studio One in the ’60s and ’70s, and you will still hear all of them versioned in regular rotation by appear systems today.

Versioning can be controversial, nevertheless , because many of those who else produced the original classic riddims never got paid with regard to the riddims themselves. It would become nice to find some “royalties”!! Nevertheless today’s artists believe they’re inspired by these classics and even paying respect by versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely intensely on versions even though, in the past decade, we saw less of this exercise with numerous innovative new riddims staying released.

The exploding market of dancehall in recent years generated many modern riddims. But a few happen to be being versioned as well. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-liked in 2008, has been a version involving 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. Therefore it seems old riddims in no way die!


Associated with course, creating some sort of new and original riddim is even more difficult compared to versioning an old one! satta matka Here are usually some of the best original riddim producers in the recent & present: Black Chiney (sound technique, DJ, producer), Bobby “Digital B” Dixon (producer), Clement “Coxsone” Dodd (producer, Facilities 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).

A pair of typically the hottest young suppliers of the fresh millennium share a surname but are usually not related. Sophie “Di Genius” McGregor, son of veteran singer Freddie McGregor, can boast of 1 of my favourite dancehall riddims regarding the past few years, the Tremor Riddim (2007), been vocal by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Paul (“Watch Them Roll”), while others. This talented musician’s riddims will be so popular of which more than some sort of dozen people may well voiceover each regarding them.

The other young star developer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is responsible for a few of the hottest hits in recent times and, in our opinion, the top roots reggae riddims in order to come out involving Jamaica (or typically the world, for of which matter) in many years, one example is: 2005’s Triumphant 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 & Nivel Shiloh’s “Soon Seeing that 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 associated with artistes voicing the riddims – old soldiers and novices alike – definitely a thing to appeal to be able to everyone. These two manufacturers are out in top of Jamaica’s current hitmakers!

Personally, it’s the smooth reggae beats that get me grooving plus swaying; for others it is the hard bass sounds lines they appreciate for the dancehall ground. No matter your choice, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Enjoy!

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