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Riddim is a Jamaican Patois Jamaican genre of music that emanated from the English word "rhythm". In the context of dancehall, it refers to the instrumental accompaniment to a song and is synonymous with the rhythm section. Jamaican music genres that use the term consist of the riddim plus the voicing (vocal part) sung by the deejay. The resulting song structure is distinctive in many ways. A given riddim, if popular, may be used in dozens—or even hundreds—of songs, not only in recordings but also in live performances.
Since the 1970s, riddims have accompanied reggae music and through the 1980s, more widely known as dancehall. As seen in dancehall music, there is a voicing part – sung by the DJ – over some riddim that has probably been widely used in many other songs. There is a unique establishment in the combination of riddims and voicing.
By 1993, Jamaica finally established a copyright act, but producers still face difficulty in establishing profit. Through proper registration, many artists now work on negotiating their royalties and taking it more seriously. The unique nature of dancehall and riddims have been highly influential on the numerous remixes that now circulate throughout R&B and hip-hop music.