What is a reggae “riddim? “

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

Riddims usually consist of the prominent bass line and a specific unique drum design and are truly the backbone associated with dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, roots, dancehall, etc. Many riddims originate by a hit tune and the riddim carries the title of the music, for example I-Wayne’s 2004 hit “Lava Ground” within the Lava Surface Riddim. Or, within some cases, typically the riddim takes the most popular track recorded on it. Regarding example, the Satta Massagana Riddim is definitely named after The particular Abyssinians’ original track “Satta Massagana”.

At times, an artiste may voice two totally different songs in the identical riddim. And it’s quite common for various artistes to voice over typically the same riddims with various lyrics and distinct vocal styles, running from singing to toasting. For example , Jah Cure’s “Call In Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are typical in 2009’s wonderful Great Love Riddim. The particular success of the riddim is evaluated by how several artistes “juggle” this, or make their very own own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will judge whether or not the tune is definitely big and, in case so, other histrion will write fresh lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Right now there can be even more than a 12 popular current riddims, but there usually are usually only a few “hot” riddims at the same time. Histrion have to report over these sizzling riddims if they want a far better shot at obtaining their songs played in the dancehalls or on the particular radio. Often the dance is even created honoring the riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who can overlook the world’s speediest man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always result from reggae; some city contemporary songs can become riddims as effectively. The instrumental involving Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has changed into a popular riddim; many dancehall musicians have recorded tunes utilizing the track. Some other songs have influenced riddims too, this sort of as George Michael’s song “Faith, very well which became a new riddim of the same label, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which often became the Baghdad Riddim.

Varieties of riddims

Riddims are African-american in origin and even are generally one particular of three sorts. The oldest, typically the “classical” riddim, supplies the instrumentals intended for dub, roots reggae and lovers’ rock (well known suppliers include Sly & 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 pcs, synthesizers and drum machines; put simply, they will are really digital riddims.

The associated with technology changed the whole business. No lengthier do you need to pay intended for studio as well as retain the services of musicians! This opened up up the company into a whole brand new generation of makers, musicians and artists. Today, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are electronic digital. Digital riddims, alongside with the global reach and reputation of dancehall, have also spawned the creation of increasingly more popular riddims outside the house Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the phrase for recycling or even rejuvenating old riddims using computers and even samplers, and giving voice over them together with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the sixties. A few of these riddims are usually decades old, many of them taken from Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston studio room, Studio One. Some great riddims came away of Studio 1 in the ’60s and ’70s, and you may still hear these people versioned in frequent rotation by audio systems today.

Versioning can be questionable, yet , because several of those that produced the initial classic riddims in no way got paid with regard to the riddims by themselves. It would end up being nice to obtain some “royalties”!! But 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 although, in the previous decade, we found less on this exercise with countless creative new riddims being released.

The explosion of dancehall lately generated many modern riddims. satta But several are already being versioned too. The Incomplete Business Riddim, well-known in 2008, had been a version regarding 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So that it seems old riddims in no way die!


Of course, creating the new and original riddim is very good more difficult as compared to versioning an aged one! Here are really some of the particular best original riddim producers from your past & present: Black Chiney (sound system, DJ, producer), Bobby “Digital B” Dixon (producer), Clement “Coxsone” Dodd (producer, Studio room 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 data, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

A pair of typically the hottest young makers of the brand new millennium share some sort of surname but are really not related. Sophie “Di Genius” McGregor, son of seasoned singer Freddie McGregor, can feature one of my favourite dancehall riddims involving modern times, the Tingling Riddim (2007), voiced by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Paul (“Watch Them Roll”), and others. This skilled musician’s riddims will be so popular of which more than some sort of dozen people might voiceover each associated with them.

The various other young star manufacturer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is certainly responsible for a few of the hottest hits lately and, in the opinion, the most effective roots reggae riddims in order to come out regarding Jamaica (or the world, for of which 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 Zero Me Dat” & Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Classic Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Nivel Shiloh’s “Soon While We Rise”), and Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See You Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love the particular wide mix of artistes voicing his / her riddims – old soldiers and novices alike – definitely a thing to appeal to everyone. These two suppliers are out in entrance of Jamaica’s present hitmakers!

For me, it’s the smooth reggae beats that get me grooving and even swaying; for other folks it is the hard bass lines they delight in within the dancehall ground. Irrespective of your inclination, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Enjoy!

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