Reggae Riddims – The building blocks of Reggae Music

What is a reggae “riddim? “

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

Riddims usually incorporate a prominent bass line and a particular unique drum style and are truly the backbone regarding dub, reggae, lovers’ rock, ragga, roots, dancehall, etc. A lot of riddims originate by a hit music and the riddim carries the name of the song, such as I-Wayne’s 2004 hit “Lava Ground” around the Lava Surface Riddim. Or, throughout some cases, the riddim takes the name of the most popular song recorded on it. With regard to example, the Satta Massagana Riddim is definitely named after Typically the Abyssinians’ original music “Satta Massagana”.

Sometimes, an artiste will voice two totally different songs upon the identical riddim. And it’s really common for various histrion to voiceover the particular same riddims with various lyrics and different vocal styles, varying from singing in order to toasting. For instance , Jah Cure’s “Call On Me”, Gyptian’s “Butterfly”, and Tanya Stephens’ “Reminiscing” are generally on 2009’s wonderful Good Love Riddim. The particular success of the riddim is regarded by how a lot of artistes “juggle” that, or make their own vocal interpretations of it. Jamaican audiences will determine whether or not the tune is usually big and, if so, other artistes will write fresh lyrics to “ride the riddim”.

Right now there can be more than a dozen popular current riddims, but there are usually usually just one or two “hot” riddims at any time. Artistes have to record over these sizzling riddims if they want a better shot at receiving their songs played out in the dancehalls or on the radio. Many times a dance is even created in honor of the particular riddim, like Pepperseed, or Gully Creeper, or that can neglect 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 can become riddims as nicely. The instrumental involving Ne-Yo’s “Miss Independent” has become a popular riddim; many dancehall musicians have recorded tunes while using track. Additional songs have influenced riddims too, this sort of as George Michael’s song “Faith, ” which became a riddim of the same brand, and R. Kelly’s “Snake, ” which became the Baghdad Riddim.

Types of riddims

Riddims are Photography equipment in origin plus are generally one of three types. The oldest, typically the “classical” riddim, provides the instrumentals for dub, roots reggae and lovers’ rock and roll (well known manufacturers include Sly as well as 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 usually created with pcs, synthesizers and trommel machines; quite simply, these people are really electronic digital riddims.

The associated with technology changed the complete business. No longer do you need to pay for studio as well as seek the services of musicians! This opened up up the organization to a whole fresh generation of makers, musicians and entertainers. Today, most riddims backing dancehall plus Soca are electronic digital. Digital riddims, alongside with the worldwide reach and reputation of dancehall, possess also spawned the creation of increasingly more popular riddims outside Jamaica.


“Versioning” is the expression for recycling or perhaps rejuvenating old riddims using computers and samplers, and giving voice over them along with new artistes. Discovery bay, jamaica has been versioning since the 1960s. Many of these riddims will be decades old, a lot of of them taken from Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s renowned Kingston facility, Studio One. Some great riddims came away of Studio One particular in the ’60s and ’70s, and you may still hear all of them versioned in constant rotation by appear systems today.

Versioning can be questionable, nevertheless , because a lot of of those which produced the original classic riddims in no way got paid intended for the riddims by themselves. It would be nice to acquire some “royalties”!! Yet today’s artists argue that they’re inspired simply by these classics in addition to paying respect by simply versioning and re-popularizing them. Many Jamaican producers rely greatly on versions even though, in the previous decade, we found less of this training with countless imaginative new riddims staying released.

The surge of dancehall in recent times generated many great new riddims. But several are already being versioned too. The Incomplete Business Riddim, well-liked in 2008, seemed to be a version of 1998’s hit Showtime Riddim. matka So that it looks old riddims in no way die!


Involving course, creating the new and initial riddim is far more difficult as compared to versioning an outdated one! Here are usually some of typically the best original riddim producers from your prior & present: Black Chiney (sound method, 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 information, dominated the 1960s), Sly and Robbie (producers, Taxi Records), Steely & Clevie (producers).

A pair of typically the hottest young producers of the new millennium share a new surname but are really not related. Sophie “Di Genius” McGregor, son of expert singer Freddie McGregor, can feature a single of my preferred dancehall riddims involving modern times, the Tingling Riddim (2007), voiced by Mavado (“Amazing Grace”), Sean Robert (“Watch Them Roll”), as well as others. This accomplished musician’s riddims will be so popular of which more than some sort of dozen people may possibly voiceover each of them.

The some other young star producer is Kemar “Flava” McGregor, who is definitely responsible for a number of the hottest hits recently and, in our opinion, the most effective root base reggae riddims to be able to come out of Jamaica (or typically the world, for that will matter) in yrs, for example: 2005’s Victorious 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 & Ras Shiloh’s “Soon Like We Rise”), in addition to Sweet Riddim (Etana’s “Happy Heart”, Beres Hammond’s “See An individual Again”, Ginjah’s “Prayer”). I love the wide mix associated with artistes voicing his / her riddims – experts and novices as well – definitely anything to appeal in order to everyone. Both of these manufacturers are in top of Jamaica’s existing hitmakers!

For me personally, really the smooth reggae beats that get me grooving plus swaying; for others it’s the hard striper lines they delight in within the dancehall floor. Irrespective of your preference, riddims are reggae music’s foundation! Enjoy!