Reggae Riddims – The building blocks of Reggae Music

Reggae Riddims – The building blocks of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

“Riddim” is the Jamaican Patois term for the instrumental “rhythm” trail of a track, also known as the “groove” or perhaps the “beat”. Jamaican popular songs, and many more types of Carribbean music, are developed on riddims.

Riddims usually incorporate the prominent bass range and a particular unique drum style and are genuinely the backbone associated with dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, beginnings, dancehall, etc. Several riddims originate by a hit track and the riddim carries the brand of the music, by way of example I-Wayne’s 2005 hit “Lava Ground” within the Lava Terrain Riddim. Or, within some cases, the particular riddim takes the name of the most popular tune upon it. Intended for example, the Satta Massagana Riddim will be named after The Abyssinians’ original music “Satta Massagana”.

At times, an artiste will voice two totally different songs about the identical riddim. And it’s very common several artistes to voice over the particular same riddims based on a lyrics and various vocal styles, ranging from singing to toasting. For example , Jah Cure’s “Call In Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are on 2009’s wonderful Great Love Riddim. The particular success of a new riddim is judged by how several artistes “juggle” it, or make their particular own vocal interpretations of it. Jamaican audiences will assess set up tune is certainly big and, in case so, other artistes will write new lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Right now there can be more than a dozen popular current riddims, but there are usually only a few “hot” riddims at any moment. Histrion have to record over these very hot riddims if they will want a much better shot at having their songs performed in the dancehalls or on typically the radio. Many times a new dance is including created in honor of the particular riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who is able to forget about the world’s quickest man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always result from reggae; some city contemporary songs could become riddims as properly. The instrumental regarding Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has become a popular riddim; many dancehall designers have recorded tracks making use of the track. Some other songs have inspired riddims too, this sort of as George Michael’s song “Faith, ” which became some sort of riddim of the same label, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which in turn became the Baghdad Riddim.

Varieties of riddims

Riddims are Photography equipment in origin and are generally one particular of three sorts. The oldest, typically the “classical” riddim, gives the instrumentals regarding dub, roots reggae and lovers’ mountain (well known suppliers include Sly and 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 generally created with personal computers, synthesizers and trommel machines; basically, that they are really electric riddims.

The advent of technology changed the entire business. No more time must you pay intended for studio some seek the services of musicians! dpboss This opened up the company to a whole fresh generation of makers, musicians and entertainers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and even Soca are electronic. Digital riddims, along with the global reach and recognition of dancehall, possess also spawned the creation of a lot more popular riddims outside the house Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the expression for recycling or rejuvenating old riddims using computers plus samplers, and voicing over them with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the nineteen sixties. A few of these riddims are decades old, many of them appearing out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio room, Studio One. Some great riddims came away of Studio A single in the ’60s and ’70s, and you may still hear them versioned in constant rotation by appear systems today.

Versioning can be dubious, however , because numerous of those who else produced the initial classic riddims never got paid intended for the riddims them selves. It would become nice to obtain some “royalties”!! Although today’s artists believe they’re inspired by these classics and paying respect simply by versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely intensely on versions even though, in the previous decade, we saw less of this exercise with numerous imaginative new riddims becoming released.

The explosion of dancehall recently generated many great new riddims. But many are actually being versioned at the same time. The Unfinished Business Riddim, well-known in 2008, has been a version associated with 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So it appears old riddims in no way die!


Of course, creating a new new and authentic riddim is even more difficult as compared to versioning an old one! Here are really some of typically the best original riddim producers through the past & present: Dark-colored Chiney (sound program, 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 information, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of the hottest young makers of the fresh millennium share a surname but are really not related. Sophie “Di Genius” McGregor, son of experienced singer Freddie McGregor, can boast of 1 of my favorite dancehall riddims regarding recent years, the Tingling Riddim (2007), voiced by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Paul (“Watch Them Roll”), and others. This accomplished musician’s riddims are usually so popular that more than some sort of dozen people may well voiceover each involving them.

The some other young star producer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is responsible for a number of the hottest hits in recent times and, in our opinion, the most beneficial origins reggae riddims to be able to come out associated with Jamaica (or the world, for that matter) in years, such as: 2005’s Triumphant Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah Little Me Dat” as well as Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Classic Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Ras Shiloh’s “Soon Like We Rise”), plus Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See You Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love the particular wide mix regarding artistes voicing their riddims – veterans and novices as well – definitely a thing to appeal to everyone. These two manufacturers are out in front side of Jamaica’s present hitmakers!

To me, is actually the smooth reggae beats that find me grooving and swaying; for other people it is the hard largemouth bass lines they take pleasure in for the dancehall floors. Regardless of your desire, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Take pleasure in!

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