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The jamaican-english term Riddim originates from the word rhythm. A riddim is a rhythm pattern, basically consisting of a drum pattern and a prominent bass line. Often a melody is associated with the riddim.

Riddims are the instrumental background of every Reggae, Lovers Rock, Dub, Raggamuffin (aka Ragga) or Dancehall Reggae composition. In other musical contexts a riddim would be called a groove.

Different artists perform on one and the same of the hundreds of riddims with different lyrics and different vocal styles, ranging from singing to rapping (for example Beenie Mansí song "My Wish", Mr. Vegasísí tune "Go Up" or TOKsí "Man A Bad Man" are based on the "Juice Riddim"). Most riddims are named by a tune (as the "Satta-A-Masagana Riddim" is named by the song "Satta-A-Masagana" performed by the group "The Abyssinians").

In general riddims can be divided in three main sections. The oldest type of riddims is the classical riddim providing Roots Reggae/Roots Rock Reggae, Dub and Lovers Rock with instrumentals (for example: "Bam Bam Riddim" produced by Sly & Robbie).

Second type is the ragga riddims backing Raggamuffin/Ragga and Dancehall Reggae tunes (for example: "Juice Riddim" produced by Richard "Shams" Brown), just as the third and last type, the digital riddims (for example: "Sleng Teng Riddim").

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