Reggae Riddims – The Foundation of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

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

Riddims usually include some sort of prominent bass series and a certain unique drum style and are truly the backbone associated with dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, beginnings, dancehall, etc. A lot of riddims originate through a hit tune and the riddim carries the label of the track, by way of example I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” within the Lava Terrain Riddim. Or, inside some cases, the riddim takes the most popular music upon it. Intended for example, the Satta Massagana Riddim will be named after Typically the Abyssinians’ original track “Satta Massagana”.

Sometimes, an artiste may voice two completely different songs in the identical riddim. And it’s very common for various artistes to voiceover the same riddims with various lyrics and different vocal styles, starting from singing to toasting. For example , Jah Cure’s “Call On Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are on 2009’s wonderful Fine Love Riddim. The success of a riddim is evaluated by how several artistes “juggle” this, or make their particular own vocal interpretations of it. Jamaican audiences will judge set up tune is certainly big and, in the event that so, other artistes will write new lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Presently there can be more than a 12 popular current riddims, but there will be usually only a few “hot” riddims at any time. Artistes have to report over these very hot riddims if they want a much better shot at having their songs played in the dancehalls or on typically the radio. Often a new dance is even created honoring the particular riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or that can overlook the world’s most effective man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always originate from reggae; some urban contemporary songs can become riddims as properly. The instrumental associated with Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has become a popular riddim; many dancehall designers have recorded songs making use of the track. Various other songs have encouraged riddims too, this sort of as George Michael’s song “Faith, inches which became a new riddim of the identical name, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which usually became the Baghdad Riddim.

satta Forms of riddims

Riddims are African in origin plus are generally a single of three varieties. The oldest, the particular “classical” riddim, provides the instrumentals regarding dub, roots reggae and lovers’ mountain (well known suppliers 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 computer systems, synthesizers and drum machines; basically, they are really electronic riddims.

The creation of technology changed the whole business. No extended do you need to pay regarding studio some seek the services of musicians! This opened up up the company to some whole new generation of suppliers, musicians and entertainers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall plus Soca are digital. Digital riddims, alongside with the global reach and recognition of dancehall, have got also spawned the creation of increasingly more popular riddims exterior Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the phrase for recycling or perhaps rejuvenating old riddims using computers and samplers, and giving voice over them together with new artistes. Jamaica has been versioning since the 1960s. Many of these riddims are usually decades old, a lot of of them appearing out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio room, Studio One. Some good riddims came out of Studio One in the ’60s and ’70s, and you should still hear these people versioned in frequent rotation by sound systems today.

Versioning can be controversial, however , because several of those who else produced the unique classic riddims never ever got paid for the riddims themselves. It would end up being nice to get some “royalties”!! Nevertheless today’s artists argue that they’re inspired simply by these classics plus paying respect by simply versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely greatly on versions despite the fact that, in the earlier decade, we have seen less of this exercise with hundreds of creative new riddims being released.

The exploding market of dancehall recently generated many new riddims. But some are already being versioned at the same time. The Incomplete Business Riddim, well-liked in 2008, has been a version of 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. Therefore it seems old riddims by no means die!


Associated with course, creating a new new and initial riddim is even more difficult compared to versioning an older one! Here are generally some of typically the best original riddim producers from the prior & 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 documents, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of the particular hottest young makers of the brand new millennium share some sort of surname but are not related. Sophie “Di Genius” McGregor, son of veteran singer Freddie McGregor, can feature a single of my preferred dancehall riddims regarding recent times, the Tremor Riddim (2007), been vocal by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Robert (“Watch Them Roll”), as well as others. This gifted musician’s riddims will be so popular that more than the dozen people may possibly voice over each involving them.

The some other young star maker is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is responsible for a number of the hottest hits lately and, in our opinion, the most effective root base reggae riddims to be able to come out associated with Jamaica (or the world, for that matter) in years, for example: 2005’s Triumphal Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah Zero Me Dat” and Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Classic Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Ras Shiloh’s “Soon Like We Rise”), in addition to Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See You Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love the particular wide mix associated with artistes voicing his riddims – old soldiers and novices alike – definitely anything to appeal to be able to everyone. Those two suppliers are in entrance of Jamaica’s existing hitmakers!

Personally, it can the smooth reggae beats that obtain me grooving and swaying; for other folks it is the hard bass lines they take pleasure in for the dancehall floors. No matter your desire, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Appreciate!


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