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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Shabba Shabba hey: too big for the reggae market, but can he take ragga to the masses?
▪ The dancehall foundations are shaking and there's outrage in the ragga ranks.
▪ The official tour guide, a close-cropped ragga called Garfield Logan, asks us to leave our shoes outside.
▪ They pay respect to Bob, but to ignore ragga culture is to live in the past.
▪ This pits him against dance, ragga, and hip hop beats.
▪ Whether Shabba succeeds outside of the reggae market is dependent on whether a major can retain the energy of his ragga product.
▪ With support from Neneh Cherry's management, they are working on an album combining ragga, soul and hip hop.

n. (context music English) a subgenre of reggae that incorporates hip hop, rhythm and blues and sampling; dancehall


Raggamuffin music, usually abbreviated as ragga, is a subgenre of dancehall music and reggae, in which the instrumentation primarily consists of electronic music. Similar to hip hop, sampling often serves a prominent role in raggamuffin music.

In the mid-1980s, French Antilles Kassav, the first in the Caribbean to use MIDI technology, took Caribbean music to another level by recording in a digital format. Wayne Smith's " Under Mi 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 singjaying or singing on top of the riddim.

Usage examples of "ragga".

For no reason I could discern, the Hendrix piped a slow, deep ragga beat in from the corners of the room, and a lighting effect patterned the ceiling above us with swirling blotches of red and purple.