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This riddim is a production of Equiknoxx whose front figure Gavin Blair has been featured in JAMRID before as a result of their Step Out riddim, which was the vehicle for Busy Signals break through hit by the same name. Gavin was nice enough to share a few secrets around how riddims are made and voiced so I’m happy to be able to feature another one of his riddims here. However, make no mistake; it’s here because of the merits of the riddim alone. It was voted among the top ten riddims, number 7 actually, in this year voting, and it’s a very original riddim, which demands nuff respect!
"for the past two decades that music has been dependent for exposure on what, in most of the rest of the world, is considered the preserve of collectors only: the seven-inch single."
This has puzzled me for years, how long will the reggae industry survive on this ancient form of distribution? The thing with the vinyl single is that it's an original, and many Europeans and Americans has felt that reggae and dancehall should be on a piece of plastic. Now if the Jamaicans do not provide that anymore, who will pay for the music? Selectors won't pay for a download if they can steal it. If they don't get it on plastic their not going to pay at all.
The funny thing though is that the article talks bout the CD as the latest thing! I think most people (in Europe and Asia at least) has abandon CD a long time age and are only using computer file formats, MP3 and similar.
The article also discuss another thing I think you have noticed, the demise of the one riddim CD. I can't believe how long this phenomenon has lived, but finally it seems it has come to an end. How much download has to do with it and to what extent it's due to the fact that people have grown tired of paying for 4 good songs and 15 filler I don't know.
Personally I think it goes deeper, the riddim thing has meant that the industry has not built artists the way a more traditional one artist - on CD approach does. And now we are in a situation where there are too few big stars to make a one riddim album interesting. (It thinks this is also the reason why Beenie, Bounty and Buju are still big artists - the industry has not focused on building artists in almost ten years).
So I think the demise of one riddim albums is a 100% good thing. Everyone will win in the long run.
The article also mentions that the producers are the ones feeling the change the most. Artists has always their money on dubs and performances, it was the producers that really made the money out of the records.
However, the question is if producers are needed anymore? If the maker of the riddim easily can voice it, market it and distribute it, why is the producer needed? The producer was the one coming up with the initial money, getting the recording done, cutting some plates and eventually financed the pressing of 7:s. If nothing of that is needed anymore, what value does a (traditional) producer inject in the process?
Though the above indicates that the only ones making any money is the artists, which would mean that the artist started to pay for riddims and hot producers, rather then the maker of the riddims or the producer to pay for the artist to voice it. Just as is the case with hip hop in the US BTW. The manager would be more important over time as that's the person that can set an artist up with the right riddims, producers and connections.
So basically what may happen would be that artists starts paying producers for riddims rather then other way around. That would be a change of an order that has been the rule since the recording industry was established in Jamaica!