51Ik4PE975L. SL500 AA280 -1-
Stylistic origins Dancehall, Hip hop, Electronic music
Cultural origins 1980s, Jamaica
Typical instruments Drum machine – Sampler – Synthesizer – Organ
Mainstream popularity 1980s
Fusion genres Ragga hip hop – bhangragga- Ragga Jungle

Raggamuffin music, usually abbreviated as ragga, is a sub-genre of dancehall music or reggae, in which the instrumentation primarily consists of electronic music. Similar to hip hop, Sampling often serves a prominent role in raggamuffin music.

Wayne Smith's "Under Me Sleng Teng" was produced by King Jammy in 1985 on a Casio MT-40 synthesizer, and is generally recognized as the seminal ragga song. "Sleng Teng" boosted Jammy's popularity immensely, and other producers quickly released their own versions of the riddim, accompanied by dozens of different vocalists.

Ragga is now mainly used as a synonym for dancehall reggae or for describing dancehall with a deejay chatting rather than deejaying or singing on top of the riddim.


Ragga originated in Jamaica during the 1980s, at the same time that electronic dance music's popularity was increasing globally. One of the reasons for ragga's swift propagation is that it is generally easier and less expensive to produce than reggae performed on traditional musical instruments. Ragga evolved first in Jamaica, and later in Europe, North America, and Africa, eventually spreading to Japan, India, and the rest of the world. Ragga heavily influenced early jungle music, and also spawned the syncretistic bhangragga style when fused with bhangra. In the 1990s, Ragga and breakcore music fused, creating a style known as Raggacore.

Ragga and hip hop musicEdit

In the late 1980s, influential Jamaican rapper Daddy Freddy's pioneering efforts in fusing ragga with hip hop music earned him international acclaim while helping to publicize and popularize ragga. In 1987, Daddy Freddy and Asher D's "Ragamuffin Hip-Hop" became the first multinational single to feature the word ragga in its title. In 1992, Canadian hip hop group Rascalz released their debut album under the name "Ragga Muffin Rascals". As ragga matured, an increasing number of dancehall artists began to appropriate stylistic elements of hip hop music, while ragga music, in turn, influenced more and more hip hop artists, most notably KRS-One, the Boot Camp Clik, Das EFX, Busta Rhymes, as well as some artists with ragga-influenced styles, like early Common, Main Source, Ill Al Scratch, Fu-Schnickens, and Redman. Artists like Mad Lion grew in popularity during this early 90's trend, exemplified by his crossing from Reggae to Hip-Hop Culture.

Some ragga artists believe that the assimilation of hip hop sensibilities is crucial to the international marketability of dancehall music. Indeed, appeals to the contemporary rhythm and blues and hip hop music audiences in the English-speaking world contributed substantially to the multinational commercial success of such dancehall artists as:

  • Aidonia
  • Apache Indian
  • Admiral T
  • Al Beeno
  • Apache Indian
  • Anthony B
  • Busy Signal
  • Bugle
  • Bramma
  • Buju Banton
  • Beenie Man
  • Barrington Levy
  • Bounty Killer
  • Buju Banton
  • Bascom X
  • Baby Cham
  • Collie Buddz
  • Chino
  • Capleton
  • Cocoa Tea
  • Cutty Ranks
  • Dub Incorporation
  • Delly Ranks
  • Daddy Freddy
  • DJ Collage
  • Don Yute
  • Eek A Mouse
  • Erijef Massiv
  • Elephant Man
  • Fantan Mojah
  • Fidel Nadal
  • General Levy
  • General Degree
  • Gentleman
  • Ini Kamoze
  • Irie
  • Jambazi
  • Junior Reid
  • Jahdan Blakkamoore
  • Jah Mason
  • Junior Kelly
  • Ky-Mani Marley
  • Lieutenant Stitchie
  • Lady G
  • Lady Ragga
  • Lady Saw
  • Lexxus
  • Marika
  • Mr. Vegas
  • Mad Lion
  • Macka Diamond
  • Mavado (rapper)
  • Mad Cobra
  • Massilia Sound System
  • Million Stylez
  • Natty congo
  • Ninjaman
  • Natural Black
  • Natural Dread Killaz
  • Papa Dee
  • Pato Banton
  • Papa San
  • Patra
  • Ragga Saw
  • Richie Spice
  • Ragga Muffianismo
  • Raggademente
  • Rayvon (rapper)
  • Rick Dub
  • Ragga Oktay
  • Rupee
  • Sizzla
  • Sean Kingston
  • Super Cat
  • Spragga Benz
  • Stephen Marley
  • Sight Mc
  • Spice
  • Sean Paul
  • Shaggy
  • Shinehead
  • Shabba Ranks
  • Sister Nancy
  • Steppa Style
  • Snow
  • Stein
  • Scopie
  • Skindred
  • Shabba Ranks
  • Tony Matterhorn
  • Turbulence
  • Tenor Saw
  • T.O.K
  • Tanya Stephens
  • Tony Rebel
  • Tippa Irie
  • Voicemail
  • Vybz Kartel (rapper)
  • Vavamuffin
  • Wyclef Jean
  • Wayne Wonder
  • Wayne Smith
  • Wayne Marshall
  • Yellowman


See AlsoEdit

The Four Core Elements Breaking | DJing | Graffiti | MCing
Hip-Hop culture Dance | Fashion | Music | Production | Theater | Beatboxing
History History | Golden age | Old school | New school
Subgenres Acid rap – Alternative hip-hop – Bit-HopBounce musicChicano rapChopped and screwedChristian hip-hopConscious hip-hopEast Coast hip-hopFreestyle rapGangsta rapHardcore hip-hopHorrorcoreIndie hip-hopInstrumental hip-hopMafioso rapMidwest hip-hopNative American hip-hopNerdcore hip-hopUnderground hip-hopPolitical hip-hopPop rapSnap musicTurntablismWest Coast hip-hop
Fusion genres Abstract hip-hop - Baltimore clubCountry rapCrunkCrunkcoreCumbia rapElectro hopG-funkGhetto houseGhettotechGlitch hopHip-Hop soulHip houseHiplifeHyphyIndustrial hip-hopJazz rapMerenrapNeo soul - Rap metalRap operaRap rockRapcoreDigital Hardcore - Wonky (music)
By continent African | Asian | European | Latin American | Middle Eastern
By country
Other Turntablism | 1520 Sedgwick Avenue | Master of Ceremonies | Hip-Hop music | Hip-Hop culture | Hip-Hop Timeline: 1925 - Present | Scratching | Hook (music) | Break (music) | Sampling (music) | Synthesizer | Hip-Hop rivalry | Misogyny in hip hop culture | Rap Genius
Lists & Categories Genres | Models