Somebody say pullllll upppp *airhorn*
You probably heard this phrase if you went to the club in 2003. Every. Single. Time. It still remains the Jamaican staple for the best “riddims.”
If you aren’t familiar with Caribbean dancehall culture, “riddims” is another word for rhythm or beat. The system is a bit different than hip-hop. It’s unheard of to share a beat in rap, whereas it’s the norm to perform on the same riddim in Dancehall Reggae. How else can you tell who is really the best DJ? This is what I call an even playing field.
Note The “DJ” in reggae means the artist not the person with turntables, that person is called the selector. So Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Shaggy are a DJs and whoever is “selecting” their records are the selectors.
Got it? Good.
Another interesting thing about “riddims” are that they have really unique names. Rice and Peas, “Jet Lag” perfect for travelers, Tip Toe, Toppatop, Scarecrow, Final Warning, Playground, and Lost Angel are all colorfully-named riddims. I have no idea why this is the case, but it is my dream job to come up with the names. (I would name my first riddim Dora Di Explorer.)
Now you know the basics let’s get to di chunes dem!
10) Buzz Riddim
9) Liquid Riddim
8) Martial Arts Riddim
7) Hard Times Riddim
6) Mad Antz Riddim
5) High Altitude Riddim
4) Drop Leaf Riddim
3) Power Cut Riddim
2) Anger Management Riddim
1) Diwali Riddim.
This riddim was by far the most popular during this era. It brought you many crossover hits like Sean Paul’s “Get Busy,” Lumidee’s “Never Leave You” and Rihanna’s “Pon De Replay.”
Now when I say greatest of all time I really mean from 2000-2005. During this era daily chores became choreographed dances that you did anywhere; pon di replay, pon di river, and pon di bank. Good times.
Here is a bonus from 1998: