Friday, November 23, 2012

Bam Bam Riddim Examples (Jamaican Dancehall)

Edited by Azizi Powell

UPDATED: March 10, 2018

[This pancocojams post was originally published in 2012. I've updated it with a different title and added content.]

This post showcases a sampling of Jamaican Dancehall Reggae songs that have the Bam Bam riddim.

This post also includes information about the meaning of the Jamaican Patois term "riddim".

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all of the singers and musicians who are featured in this posts for their musical legacy. Thanks also to all of those who are quoted this post and thanks to the publishers of these YouTube examples.

Riddim is the Jamaican Patois pronunciation of the English word "rhythm," but in dancehall/reggae parlance it refers to the instrumental accompaniment to a song. Thus, a dancehall song consists of the riddim plus the "voicing" (vocal part) sung by the deejay. The resulting song structure may be taken for granted by dancehall fans, but is in many ways unique. A given riddim, if popular, may be used in dozens—or even hundreds—of songs, not only in recordings, but also in live performances..."Riddims are the primary musical building blocks of Jamaican popular songs.... At any given time, ten to fifteen riddims are widely used in dancehall recordings, but only two or three of these are the now ting (i.e., the latest riddims that everyone must record over if they want to get them played in the dance or on radio).... In dancehall performing, those whose timing is right on top of the rhythm are said to be "ridding di riddim"...

African in origin (see clave (rhythm) and bell pattern),riddims can generally be categorized into three types. One of the oldest types of riddim is the classical riddim providing roots reggae, dub and lovers rock with instrumentals, such as Bam Bam, produced by Sly & Robbie. The second type is the ragga riddim backing raggamuffin and dancehall songs, such as the Juice riddim, produced by Richard "Shams" Browne. The third type is the digital riddim, such as Sleng Teng, produced by King Jammy.

So-called digital riddims refer to riddims created around the time that Jamaican producers incorporated drum machines and synthesizers into reggae-music production. Nowadays, however, most dancehall and soca riddims are created by electronic instruments, so, in essence, almost all are digital.


Bam Bam
Toots and the Maytals
Produced by Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
Album The Sensational Maytals

Hey, can you hear that?
Ohhhh, can't you hear that?
Let me hear you play now

I want you to know that I am the man
Who fight for the right, not for the wrong
Going there, I'm going there
Talking this, I'm talking that

Soon you will find out the man
I'm supposed to be

Help this man!
Dee-dee-dee, dee-dee-di-di-dee
And don't trouble no man
And you should trouble me again!
Don't you bring a bam bam

What a bam bam, bam bam
See that? Bam bam
(It will bring a bam bam)
Can you see that?

About "Bam Bam"
"Recorded in 1966 with new Maytals contributor Byron Lee, “Bam Bam” won the first ever Jamaican Independence Festival Popular Song Competition

It was later re-interpreted in a dancehall style by Sister Nancy, whose version became a classic reggae anthem which was itself covered, referenced and sampled by numerous artists."

""Bam Bam" is a song by Jamaican dancehall recording artist Sister Nancy. The song's chorus was inspired by the 1966 song of the same name, by The Maytals and Byron Lee and the Dragonaires.[1][2] The song's instrumental samples the 1974 song "Stalag 17", by Ansell Collins, a well known riddim, alternatively known as a backing track used repeatedly.[3][4] The song has been labeled as a "well-known reggae anthem" by BBC and a "classic" by The Observer.[5][6]

In 2016, Billboard called the song "a strong contender for the title of most sampled reggae song of all time."[2] When asked her opinion of the many songs that have used her voice over the years, she responded: "I don’t know if I hear all of them. They sample it so much times but none of them is my favorite. The reason why I say that is they know how to contact me. They know I live in the U.S. and nobody try to contact me to do it in person. They always sample the tune. If they had contacted me and I would do it for them live then I would have a favorite."[2]

In 2014, Sister Nancy's daughter pointed out that her song, “Bam Bam”, was playing on the TV during a Reebok commercial and thus she finally decided seek legal advice and guidance on properly obtaining rights to her own music. For 32 years Sister Nancy did not receive any royalties for her song. At the end of the settlement she was unable to receive compensation for all 32 years of unpaid royalties, however, she did receive compensation for the last 10 years and then obtained 50% of the rights to her song “Bam Bam”. [7]

In 2015, the song topped the iTunes Reggae Chart.[8]

Released 1982
CD single CD maxi Vinyl 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1982
Studio Channel One Studios
Genre Reggae, dancehall
Length 3:16
Label Techniques Records
Winston Riley Ophlin Russell
Producer(s) Winston Riley"

Update March 10, 2018: Additional examples have been added and new numbers have been given to all of these examples based on their publishing dates on YouTube (with the oldest examples given first. Note that this is not a full listing of all the records with this Bam Bam Riddim and these examples are not given in chronological order based on the release date of these records.

Example #1: Sister Nancy - BAM BAM

johnreign, Uploaded on Dec 7, 2007

I heard this song while playing skate and decided to upload

Example #2: Chaka Demus & Pliers - Bam Bam

lmfrade, Uploaded on Feb 28, 2008

3. Bam Bam Mix (Chaka Demus/Pliers etc..)

BootCampWuTang, Uploaded on May 28, 2008

Bam Bam Mix (Chaka Demus/Pliers etc..)
UPDATE March 10, 2018 [I deleted a comment that is no longer showing on this discussion thread and added these comments which attempt to identify some of the songs on this mix:
1. zob658, 2008
"whats the one at 4 minutes"

2. siiimond, 2008
"BUju banton them a bleach"

"Does someone know what's the mix at 4th minute? thank you"

4. bramptonman, 2008
"I think it's (Bam Bam- Pliers)"

5. ajy2k8, 2008
"i like it after 2:37 murder she wrote"

6. BlazinMami4upapi, 2009
"the song starting at 4:30 is called shelly anne by red rat."

7. Richard Rey, 2009
"actually its called oh noo by Red Rat"

8. slabbabwoy, 2009
"wha dis first tune?"

Simone, 2009
"love like this before - faith evans :)"

Example #4: Bam Bam Riddim

raggabeats, Uploaded on Feb 3, 2010

Bam Bam Riddim
Producer: Lowell Charles "sly" Dunbar & Robert "Robbie" Shakespeare
Label: Taxi

Example #5: Toots and the Maytals - bam bam

cometepare1, Published on May 17, 2010

Example #6: Bam Bam - Shaggy & Toots

geejamrecordings, Uploaded on Dec 1, 2010

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