Reggae Riddims – The Foundation of Reggae Music

Reggae Riddims – The Foundation 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 since the “groove” or even the “beat”. Jamaican popular songs, and many other types of Caribbean music, are constructed on riddims.

Riddims usually contain some sort of prominent bass collection and a certain unique drum design and are truly the backbone associated with dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, beginnings, dancehall, etc. Numerous riddims originate coming from a hit tune and the riddim carries the label of the tune, for example I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” within the Lava Ground Riddim. Or, throughout some cases, the particular riddim takes the name of the most popular track upon it. Intended for example, the Satta Massagana Riddim is definitely named after The particular Abyssinians’ original tune “Satta Massagana”.

Occasionally, an artiste may voice two totally different songs in the identical riddim. And it’s very common for different artistes to voiceover the particular same riddims based on a lyrics and different vocal styles, ranging from singing in order to toasting. For example , Jah Cure’s “Call Upon Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are generally in 2009’s wonderful Good Love Riddim. The particular success of the riddim is evaluated by how a lot of artistes “juggle” it, or make their own own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will judge set up tune is certainly big and, when so, other artistes will write fresh lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

There can be a lot more than a dozens of popular current riddims, but there usually are usually just one or two “hot” riddims at any time. Artistes have to document over these warm riddims if they will want a far better shot at obtaining 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 forget the world’s speediest man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always result from reggae; some urban contemporary songs can become riddims as well. The instrumental associated with Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has changed into a popular riddim; many dancehall musicians have recorded tunes while using track. Additional songs have inspired riddims too, this sort of as George Michael’s song “Faith, inches which became some sort of riddim of the identical title, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which became the Baghdad Riddim.

Varieties of riddims

Riddims are African-american in origin in addition to are generally one particular of three varieties. The oldest, typically the “classical” riddim, supplies the instrumentals for dub, roots reggae and lovers’ mountain (well known producers include Sly as well as Robbie). The “ragga” riddim backs (or used to back) raggamuffin and dancehall songs. And “digital” riddims (e. gary the gadget guy., King Jammy’s Sleng Teng Riddim) are usually created with personal computers, synthesizers and trommel machines; put simply, that they are really digital riddims.

The associated with technology changed the whole business. No lengthier do you need to pay with regard to studio time and seek the services of musicians! This opened up the organization to a whole brand new generation of suppliers, musicians and entertainers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are electronic. Digital riddims, together with the global reach and acceptance of dancehall, have also spawned typically the creation of a lot more popular riddims outside Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the phrase for recycling or rejuvenating old riddims using computers and samplers, and giving voice over them along with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the sixties. A few of these riddims are decades old, numerous of them coming out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston facility, Studio One. Some good riddims came out and about of Studio A single in the ’60s and ’70s, and you should still hear them versioned in continuous rotation by audio systems today.

Versioning can be debatable, however , because several of those who else produced the unique classic riddims in no way got paid for the riddims on their own. It would be nice to acquire some “royalties”!! Yet today’s artists believe they’re inspired by these classics and paying respect by simply versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely heavily on versions although, in the previous decade, we saw less with this training with countless creative new riddims getting released.

The exploding market of dancehall in recent times generated many great new riddims. But some are actually being versioned too. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-liked in 2008, had been a version associated with 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. dpboss So it appears old riddims in no way die!


Associated with course, creating the new and authentic riddim is far more difficult than versioning an aged one! Here are generally some of the best original riddim producers through the past & present: Dark-colored Chiney (sound system, 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 documents, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of typically the hottest young suppliers of the new millennium share the surname but are usually not related. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of expert singer Freddie McGregor, can provide a single of my favored dancehall riddims regarding the past few years, the Tremor Riddim (2007), been vocal by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean John (“Watch Them Roll”), yet others. This talented musician’s riddims will be so popular of which more than some sort of dozen people may voice over each of them.

The various other young star manufacturer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is usually responsible for a number of the hottest hits in recent times and, in our opinion, the most effective roots reggae riddims in order to come out of Jamaica (or typically the world, for that matter) in yrs, by way of example: 2005’s Triumphal Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah Little Me Dat” and Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Classic Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Igualdad Shiloh’s “Soon As We Rise”), and even 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 his riddims – veterans and novices alike – definitely some thing to appeal in order to everyone. Both of these makers are out in top of Jamaica’s current hitmakers!

To me, it’s the smooth reggae beats that get me grooving and swaying; for other folks it is the hard bass sounds lines they delight in on the dancehall floor. No matter your choice, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Delight in!

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