"Karriem Riggins on cover of Modern Drummer February 2019"
ON THE COVER Karriem Riggins Among the most profound musical developments of the millennium is the melding of jazz and hip-hop, and this drummer is at its absolute epicenter.
Story by Ken Micallef | Photos by Alex Solca
Among the most profound musical developments of the millennium is the melding of jazz and hip-hop, and this drummer is at its absolute epicenter. While he seemingly worked both ends of the spectrum for years—and think about the spectacular talent it takes to kill it with jazz legends like Betty Carter and Ray Brown and hip-hop groundbreakers like Common and J Dilla—in reality he’s been fusing the two rhythmic worlds at the kit and in the production studio since the beginning. Now with August Greene, a nearly clairvoyant coming together of modern-music superstars, his work has achieved new heights of widespread creativity.
Drummer/producer Karriem Riggins is a speeding comet blazing across the hip-hop cosmos. Insiders have known about him for years, as the Detroit native is responsible for some of the most stellar hip-hop beats this side of the legendary J Dilla. In actual fact, Riggins collaborated with Dilla as a member of influential ’90s hip-hop trio Slum Village, and contributed to his solo albums. The phenomenally influential beat explorer had a profound effect on Riggins’ aesthetic, but to be sure, the drummer fed Dilla’s imagination as well. Modern hip-hop is better for their teamwork.