Reggae Riddims – The Basis of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim?”

“Riddim” is the Jamaican Patois phrase for the instrumental “rhythm” keep track of of a tune, also recognized as the “groove” or the “defeat”. Jamaican common tracks, and a lot of other varieties of Caribbean songs, are constructed on riddims.

Riddims typically consist of a notable bass line and a distinct exclusive drum pattern and are actually the spine of dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, roots, dancehall, and so forth. A lot of riddims originate from a strike track and the riddim carries the name of the track, for instance I-Wayne’s 2004 strike “Lava Ground” on the Lava Ground Riddim. Or, in best dancehall artist in the world , the riddim requires the name of the most well-known track recorded on it. For illustration, the Satta Massagana Riddim is named following The Abyssinians’ unique tune “Satta Massagana”.

Occasionally, an artiste will voice two fully diverse tunes on the identical riddim. And it truly is really frequent for different artistes to voice more than the same riddims with diverse lyrics and different vocal variations, ranging from singing to toasting. For example, Jah Cure’s “Get in touch with On Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are all on 2009’s fantastic Very good Really like Riddim. The achievement of a riddim is judged by how numerous artistes “juggle” it, or make their own vocal interpretations of it. Jamaican audiences will decide regardless of whether or not the tune is big and, if so, other artistes will create new lyrics to “experience the riddim”.

There can be much more than a dozen well-liked existing riddims, but there are generally only a couple of “sizzling” riddims at any given time. Artistes have to file above these very hot riddims if they want a greater shot at receiving their music performed in the dancehalls or on the radio. A lot of occasions a dance is even developed in honor of the riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who can forget the world’s speediest male Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims never often originate from reggae some city modern day tracks may possibly grow to be riddims as well. The instrumental of Ne-Yo’s “Skip Unbiased” has grow to be a common riddim a lot of dancehall artists have recorded tracks utilizing the keep track of. Other tracks have influenced riddims way too, such as George Michael’s track “Faith,” which became a riddim of the same title, and R. Kelly’s “Snake,” which became the Baghdad Riddim.

Types of riddims

Riddims are African in origin and are usually one particular of a few sorts. The oldest, the “classical” riddim, supplies the instrumentals for dub, roots reggae and lovers’ rock (well known producers incorporate Sly & Robbie). The “ragga” riddim backs (or utilized to back) raggamuffin and dancehall tracks. And “electronic” riddims (e.g., King Jammy’s Sleng Teng Riddim) are created with personal computers, synthesizers and drum equipment in other phrases, they are genuinely electronic riddims.

The introduction of engineering modified the complete organization. No lengthier do you require to shell out for studio time and employ musicians! This opened up the company to a total new era of producers, musicians and performers. Nowadays, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are electronic. Electronic riddims, alongside with the worldwide reach and acceptance of dancehall, have also spawned the generation of more and far more common riddims outside the house Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the expression for recycling or rejuvenating outdated riddims making use of computer systems and samplers, and voicing above them with new artistes. Jamaica has been versioning considering that the 1960s. Some of these riddims are many years old, many of them coming out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio, Studio One. Some great riddims came out of Studio 1 in the ’60s and ’70s, and you will still hear them versioned in constant rotation by seem techniques these days.

Versioning can be controversial, nonetheless, since several of those who produced the authentic basic riddims never received compensated for the riddims themselves. It would be great to get some “royalties”!! But modern artists argue that they are influenced by these classics and paying regard by versioning and re-popularizing them. Several Jamaican producers rely heavily on versions although, in the earlier ten years, we noticed less of this follow with hundreds of imaginative new riddims being released.

The explosion of dancehall in modern a long time created a lot of wonderful new riddims. But some are already being versioned as well. The Unfinished Business Riddim, popular in 2008, was a variation of 1998’s strike Showtime Riddim. So it appears previous riddims in no way die!


Of course, creating a new and original riddim is far a lot more difficult than versioning an outdated 1! Listed here are some of the very best first riddim producers from the previous & present: Black Chiney (seem system, DJ, producer), Bobby “Electronic B” Dixon (producer), Clement “Coxsone” Dodd (producer, Studio One particular documents), Donovan Germain (producer, Penthouse Studio), Joe Gibbs (producer), King Jammy (dub mixer, producer), King Tubby (dub mixer, producer nineteen sixties-1980s), Duke Reid (producer, Treasure Isle records, dominated the nineteen sixties), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Data), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of the hottest young producers of the new millennium share a surname but are not relevant. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of veteran singer Freddie McGregor, can boast of one particular of my favourite dancehall riddims of recent several years, the Tremor Riddim (2007), voiced by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Paul (“View Them Roll”), and other folks. This proficient musician’s riddims are so common that more than a dozen men and women may well voice more than every of them.

The other young star producer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is dependable for some of the best hits in recent years and, in my view, the very greatest roots reggae riddims to come out of Jamaica (or the planet, for that make a difference) in several years, for case in point: 2005’s Triumphant Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s eighty three Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah No Me Dat” & Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Vintage Riddim (Pressure’s “Pondering About You”, Duane Stephenson & Ras Shiloh’s “Shortly As We Rise”), and Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Satisfied Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See You Once more”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love the wide combine of artistes voicing his riddims – veterans and novices alike – absolutely some thing to attractiveness to every person. These two producers are out in entrance of Jamaica’s recent hitmakers!

For me, it really is the sleek reggae beats that get me grooving and swaying for other individuals it’s the hard bass traces they take pleasure in on the dancehall floor. No make a difference your choice, riddims are reggae music’s basis! Appreciate!

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