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Reggae Riddims – The Basis of Reggae Music

Reggae Riddims – The Basis of Reggae Music

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What’s a reggae “riddim?”

“Riddim” is the Jamaican Patois time period for the instrumental “rhythm” monitor of a music, also called the “groove” or the “beat”. Jamaican common songs, and lots of different sorts of Caribbean music, are constructed on riddims.

Riddims often include a outstanding bass line and a selected distinctive drum sample and are actually the spine of dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, roots, dancehall, and many others. Many riddims originate from successful music and the riddim carries the title of the music, for instance I-Wayne’s 2004 hit “Lava Floor” on the Lava Floor Riddim. Or, in some circumstances, the riddim takes the title of the most well-liked music recorded on it. For instance, the Satta Massagana Riddim is known as after The Abyssinians’ authentic music “Satta Massagana”.

Often, an artiste will voice two utterly totally different songs on the equivalent riddim. And it is quite common for various artistes to voice over the identical riddims with totally different lyrics and totally different vocal types, starting from singing to toasting. For instance, Jah Remedy’s “Name On Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are all on 2009’s great Good Love Riddim. The success of a riddim is judged by what number of artistes “juggle” it, or make their very own vocal interpretations of it. Jamaican audiences will choose whether or not or not the tune is massive and, in that case, different artistes will write new lyrics to “experience the riddim”.

There may be greater than a dozen common present riddims, however there are often just a few “scorching” riddims at any given time. Artistes should document over these scorching riddims if they need a greater shot at getting their songs performed within the dancehalls or on the radio. Many occasions a dance is even created in honor of the riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who can neglect the world’s quickest man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims do not at all times originate from reggae; some city up to date songs could turn into riddims as effectively. The instrumental of Ne-Yo’s “Miss Unbiased” has turn into a preferred riddim; many dancehall artists have recorded songs utilizing the monitor. Different songs have impressed riddims too, akin to George Michael’s music “Religion,” which turned a riddim of the identical title, and R. Kelly’s “Snake,” which turned the Baghdad Riddim.

Varieties of riddims

Riddims are African in origin and are typically one in all three varieties. The oldest, the “classical” riddim, supplies the instrumentals for dub, roots reggae and lovers’ rock (well-known producers embody Sly & Robbie). The “ragga” riddim backs (or used to again) raggamuffin and dancehall songs. And “digital” riddims (e.g., King Jammy’s Sleng Teng Riddim) are created with computer systems, synthesizers and drum machines; in different phrases, they’re actually digital riddims.

The arrival of expertise modified your complete enterprise. Not do you have to pay for studio time and rent musicians! This opened up the enterprise to an entire new era of producers, musicians and performers. As we speak, most riddims backing dancehall and Soca are digital. Digital riddims, together with the worldwide attain and recognition of dancehall, have additionally spawned the creation of increasingly more common riddims outdoors Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the time period for recycling or rejuvenating outdated riddims utilizing computer systems and samplers, and voicing over them with new artistes. Jamaica has been versioning because the Nineteen Sixties. A few of these riddims are many years outdated, lots of them popping out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s famend Kingston studio, Studio One. Some nice riddims got here out of Studio One within the ’60s and ’70s, and you’ll nonetheless hear them versioned in fixed rotation by sound techniques in the present day.

Versioning may be controversial, nonetheless, as a result of lots of those that produced the unique traditional riddims by no means bought paid for the riddims themselves. It might be good to get some “royalties”!! However in the present day’s artists argue that they are impressed by these classics and paying respect by versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely closely on variations though, up to now decade, we noticed much less of this follow with lots of of artistic new riddims being launched.

The explosion of dancehall lately generated many nice new riddims. However some are already being versioned as effectively. The Unfinished Enterprise Riddim, common in 2008, was a model of 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So it appears outdated riddims by no means die!


In fact, creating a brand new and authentic riddim is way tougher than versioning an outdated one! Listed below are among the finest authentic riddim producers from the previous & current: Black Chiney (sound system, DJ, producer), Bobby “Digital B” Dixon (producer), Clement “Coxsone” Dodd (producer, Studio One information), Donovan Germain (producer, Penthouse Studio), Joe Gibbs (producer), King Jammy (dub mixer, producer), King Tubby (dub mixer, producer Nineteen Sixties-Eighties), Duke Reid (producer, Treasure Isle information, dominated the Nineteen Sixties), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Data), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of the most popular younger producers of the brand new millennium share a surname however will not be associated. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of veteran singer Freddie McGregor, can boast of one in all my favourite dancehall riddims of latest years, the Tremor Riddim (2007), voiced by Mavado (“Superb Grace”), Sean Paul (“Watch Them Roll”), and others. This gifted musician’s riddims are so common that greater than a dozen individuals may voice over every of them.

The opposite younger star producer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who’s chargeable for among the hottest hits lately and, for my part, the perfect roots reggae riddims to return out of Jamaica (or the world, for that matter) in years, for instance: 2005’s Triumphant Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Do not Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah No Me Dat” & Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Basic Riddim (Strain’s “Pondering About You”, Duane Stephenson & Ras Shiloh’s “Quickly As We Rise”), and Candy Riddim (Etana’s “Completely satisfied Coronary heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See You Once more”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I really like the vast mixture of artistes voicing his riddims – veterans and novices alike – positively one thing to attraction to everybody. These two producers are out in entrance of Jamaica’s present hitmakers!

For me, it is the graceful reggae beats that get me grooving and swaying; for others it is the onerous bass traces they get pleasure from on the dancehall ground. Irrespective of your desire, riddims are reggae music’s basis! Take pleasure in!

#Reggae #Riddims #Basis #Reggae #Music

Reggae Riddims – The Basis of Reggae Music


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