Reggae Riddims – The Foundation of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

“Riddim” will be the Jamaican Patois term for the particular instrumental “rhythm” trail of a track, also known since the “groove” or perhaps the “beat”. Jamaican popular songs, and many other types of Caribbean music, are created on riddims.

Riddims usually include some sort of prominent bass range and a specific unique drum design and are genuinely the backbone regarding dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, origins, dancehall, etc. A lot of riddims originate by a hit song and the riddim carries the name of the tune, by way of example I-Wayne’s 2004 hit “Lava Ground” on the Lava Floor Riddim. Or, throughout some cases, the riddim takes the name of the most popular song recorded on it. Intended for example, the Satta Massagana Riddim is named after The particular Abyssinians’ original tune “Satta Massagana”.

At times, an artiste may voice two totally different songs in the identical riddim. And it’s quite common for different artistes to voice over the particular same riddims with different lyrics and various vocal styles, ranging from singing in order to toasting. For instance , Jah Cure’s “Call In Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are all about 2009’s wonderful Fine Love Riddim. Typically the success of some sort of riddim is regarded by how many artistes “juggle” it, or make their particular own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will judge whether or not the tune is big and, in the event that so, other artistes will write fresh lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Presently there can be more than a dozens of popular current riddims, but there will be 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 getting their songs played out in the dancehalls or on typically the radio. Often times a new dance is still created honoring typically the riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who can overlook the world’s most effective man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always originate from reggae; some city contemporary songs may become riddims as well. The instrumental of 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, this kind of as George Michael’s song “Faith, inches which became the riddim of the identical title, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which often became the Baghdad Riddim.

Varieties of riddims

Riddims are Photography equipment in origin and even are generally one particular of three sorts. matka The oldest, the “classical” riddim, provides the instrumentals with regard to dub, roots reggae and lovers’ rock (well known suppliers include Sly and Robbie). The “ragga” riddim backs (or used to back) raggamuffin and dancehall songs. And “digital” riddims (e. h., King Jammy’s Sleng Teng Riddim) are created with computer systems, synthesizers and trommel machines; put simply, these people are really digital riddims.

The creation of technology changed the whole business. No lengthier do you need to pay regarding studio some retain the services of musicians! This exposed up the organization to some whole fresh generation of producers, musicians and entertainers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and even Soca are electronic. Digital riddims, along with the international reach and popularity of dancehall, possess also spawned the particular creation of a lot more popular riddims exterior Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the phrase for recycling or even rejuvenating old riddims using computers and even samplers, and giving voice over them along with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the nineteen sixties. Some of these riddims are decades old, a lot of of them appearing out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio, Studio One. Some terrific riddims came out there of Studio One in the ’60s and ’70s, and you should still hear all of them versioned in continuous rotation by sound systems today.

Versioning can be debatable, yet , because many of those who produced the authentic classic riddims never ever got paid with regard to the riddims themselves. It would always be nice to get some “royalties”!! Yet today’s artists believe they’re inspired by simply these classics in addition to paying respect by versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely greatly on versions even though, in the previous decade, we saw less of the practice with a huge selection of imaginative new riddims getting released.

The huge increase of dancehall recently generated many modern riddims. But several are already being versioned at the same time. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-liked in 2008, was a version regarding 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So that it appears old riddims in no way die!


Associated with course, creating a new and unique riddim is far more difficult compared to versioning an aged one! Here are generally some of the particular best original riddim producers through the past & present: Black 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 information, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

A pair of typically the hottest young suppliers of the new millennium share the surname but are usually not related. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of veteran singer Freddie McGregor, can feature a single of my favored dancehall riddims involving modern times, the Tremor Riddim (2007), been vocal by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Paul (“Watch Them Roll”), while others. This gifted musician’s riddims are usually so popular of which more than the dozen people may possibly voice over each involving them.

The other young star manufacturer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is definitely responsible for some of the hottest hits recently and, in the opinion, the top root base reggae riddims to be able to come out of Jamaica (or the particular world, for that matter) in decades, by way of example: 2005’s Triumphal Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah Zero Me Dat” & Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Traditional Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Nivel 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 the wide mix associated with artistes voicing his / her riddims – old soldiers and novices likewise – definitely anything to appeal in order to everyone. Both of these suppliers are in top of Jamaica’s existing hitmakers!

To me, really the smooth reggae beats that obtain me grooving plus swaying; for other folks it’s the hard bass sounds lines they delight in within the dancehall floor. No matter your choice, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Take pleasure in!

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