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Ragga or raggamuffin is a variety of reggae that is particularly widespread in Jamaica . The main features are the spoken chant, mostly in patois and limited to a few notes, and the bass-heavy rhythm.


Ragga (raggamuffin) is a form of dancehall and has been enjoying increasing popularity since the mid- 1980s . The first raggamuffin title is Under Me Sleng Teng by Wayne Smith / King Jammy from 1985 , who also revolutionized the production of Jamaican dance music with his synthesized bassline.

The term Raggamuffin was founded and established through the 1988 album Ragamuffin Hip-Hop by Asher D. and Daddy Freddy .

An essential feature of the ragga is the fact that different singers sing or toast their own tracks independently on the same instrumental, the riddim . The best example of this is a song called Real Rock , an instrumental piece from 1967 by the band Sound Dimension , which has been "voiced" in almost 300 different versions by various Jamaican artists to date.

Ragga is usually pressed to 7 ", the speed is usually 45 / min. When playing, the same riddim is often strung together in different interpretations. This increases the hypnotic effect. There is no tricky mixing, especially since this would be difficult due to the plate format.

The content of the texts mostly revolves around five topics: sex (slackness), violence (gunlyrics), cannabis use (ganja tunes), politics / religiosity (consciousness) and love (lovers rock, lover tunes).

Raggamuffin was also very popular in Great Britain at the end of the 1980s. At the beginning of the 1990s, he significantly influenced the development of Jungle .

Important representatives


  • Stascha (Staša) Bader: Words like fire: Dancehall Reggae and Raggamuffin . Dissertation at the University of Zurich, 1986. Book publisher Michael Schwinn, Neustadt, Germany, 1st edition 1988, 2nd edition 1992, ISBN 3-925077-11-1
  • René Wynands: Do The Reggae. Reggae from Pocomania to Ragga and the legend of Bob Marley. Pieper Verlag and Schott. 1995 ISBN 3-492-18409-X (Pieper), ISBN 3-7957-8409-3 (Schott) online version
  • Norman C. Stolzoff: Wake the Town and Tell the People. Dancehall Culture in Jamaica. Durham; London: Duke University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8223-2478-4

See also