Reggae Riddims – The building blocks of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

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

Riddims usually consist of a prominent bass series and a particular unique drum routine and are really the backbone associated with dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, root base, dancehall, etc. satta Numerous riddims originate coming from a hit music and the riddim carries the label of the track, such as I-Wayne’s 2004 hit “Lava Ground” around the Lava Surface Riddim. Or, in some cases, the particular riddim takes the name of the most popular music upon it. Intended for example, the Satta Massagana Riddim is named after The particular Abyssinians’ original tune “Satta Massagana”.

Occasionally, an artiste may voice two entirely different songs upon the identical riddim. And it’s really common several histrion to voice over the particular same riddims with different lyrics and various vocal styles, running from singing to toasting. For example , Jah Cure’s “Call On Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are upon 2009’s wonderful Fine Love Riddim. The success of a riddim is judged by how a lot of artistes “juggle” this, or make their own vocal understanding of it. Jamaican audiences will assess whether or not the tune is big and, when so, other artistes will write new lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Right now there can be even more than a dozens of popular current riddims, but there are usually usually just a few “hot” riddims at any time. Histrion have to report over these very hot riddims if these people want a better shot at having their songs enjoyed in the dancehalls or on typically the radio. Often a new dance is still created in honor of typically the riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or who is able to forget the world’s speediest man Usain Bolt’s victory dance, “Nah Linga”?!!

The riddims don’t always result from reggae; some urban contemporary songs can become riddims as nicely. The instrumental associated with Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has become a popular riddim; many dancehall performers have recorded tracks utilizing the track. Various other songs have influenced riddims too, this kind of as George Michael’s song “Faith, inches which became some sort of riddim of the identical label, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which in turn became the Baghdad Riddim.

Forms of riddims

Riddims are Africa in origin and even are generally a single of three sorts. The oldest, the “classical” riddim, provides the instrumentals regarding dub, roots reggae and lovers’ mountain (well known makers 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 usually created with computer systems, synthesizers and drum machines; put simply, these people are really electronic digital riddims.

The advent of technology changed the entire business. No more time must you pay intended for studio as well as retain the services of musicians! This exposed up the organization to a whole fresh generation of producers, musicians and artists. Today, most riddims backing dancehall plus Soca are electronic. Digital riddims, together with the global reach and recognition of dancehall, possess also spawned the particular creation of a growing number of popular riddims outside Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the expression for recycling or perhaps rejuvenating old riddims using computers in addition to samplers, and giving voice over them together with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the nineteen sixties. A few of these riddims are usually decades old, several of them appearing out of Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston facility, Studio One. Some terrific riddims came away of Studio One in the ’60s and ’70s, and you will probably still hear these people versioned in constant rotation by noise systems today.

Versioning can be questionable, however , because several of those who produced the unique classic riddims never ever got paid with regard to the riddims on their own. It would be nice to acquire some “royalties”!! But today’s artists believe they’re inspired by these classics and even paying respect by versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely heavily on versions although, in the previous decade, we found less of the practice with hundreds of innovative new riddims staying released.

The huge increase of dancehall lately generated many great new riddims. But several already are being versioned too. The Incomplete Business Riddim, well-known in 2008, seemed to be a version involving 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. So that it seems old riddims never ever die!


Of course, creating the new and original riddim is even more difficult compared to versioning an old one! Here are usually some of typically the best original riddim producers from the history & 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 data, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

Two of the particular hottest young suppliers of the brand new millennium share a new surname but are generally not related. Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, son of veteran singer Freddie McGregor, can provide a single of my preferred dancehall riddims associated with recent years, the Tingling Riddim (2007), been vocal by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean John (“Watch Them Roll”), and others. This skilled musician’s riddims are so popular that more than the dozen people may voice over each involving them.

The some other young star manufacturer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is certainly responsible for a number of the hottest hits recently and, in the opinion, the most effective origins reggae riddims in order to come out involving Jamaica (or the particular world, for of which matter) in years, for example: 2005’s Victorious Riddim (Gyptian’s “Mama Don’t Cry”), 2007’s 83 Riddim (Richie Spice’s “Ah No more Me Dat” as well as Queen Ifrica’s “Daddy”), and 2010’s Typical Riddim (Pressure’s “Thinking About You”, Duane Stephenson & Nivel Shiloh’s “Soon While We Rise”), plus Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See An individual Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love the particular wide mix regarding artistes voicing his / her riddims – experts and novices as well – definitely a thing to appeal in order to everyone. Both of these manufacturers are in front of Jamaica’s current hitmakers!

Personally, is actually the smooth reggae beats that find me grooving and even swaying; for other folks it’s the hard striper lines they enjoy for the dancehall floor. Regardless of your choice, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Enjoy!