Karriem Riggins


KCRW Presents Lockdown Listening: Karriem Riggins

With a resume that ranges from Talib Kweli to Paul McCartney, L.A.-based drummer Karriem Riggins has assembled his kit in a borderless zone that encompasses modern jazz, hip-hop, classic singer-songwriters and whatever else tickles his fancy. Riggins studied with bassist Ray Brown and quickly became the go-to rhythmatist for Ron Carter, Donald Byrd, Oscar Peterson and other jazz icons. Honoring his own upbringing among the nascent rap and hip-hop scenes, Riggins became an in-demand beatmaker for Common, J Dilla and Erykah Badu among others. His expansive credits also include Elvis Costello and the Roots, Kaytranada, Norah Jones, Diana Krall and Esperanza Spalding. In late 2020, he released Pardon My French, a long-mooted collaboration with Madlib as Jahari Massamba Unit. For the Lockdown Listening series, Riggins speaks with KCRW about the music that's shaped his own playing.
Picture for KCRW Presents Lockdown Listening: Karriem Riggins

Midnight In A Perfect World: Karriem Riggins

Detroit native Karriem Riggins is a revered drummer, producer, and all-around multi-faceted artist who has played a crucial role in the hip-hop, jazz, and broader music landscape since the late 1990s. An in-demand collaborator, his first major credits included work on Common's 1997 album One Day It'll All Make Sense and he's since gone on to work with a diverse roster of artists including Slum Village, Erykah Badu, J Dilla, The Roots, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Earl Sweatshirt, Diana Krall, Roy Hargrove, Esperanza Spalding, Kaytranada, Paul McCartney, and more. His long-running relationship Common continues through today as he produced the Chicago rapper's 2020 album A Beautiful Revolution Pt. 1 and is part of the supergroup August Greene alongside Common and Robert Glasper. Last year, Karriem joined forces with his longtime friend Madlib to form the duo Jahari Massamba Unit. Their debut album Pardon My French explored a spiritual-tinged beat-centric jazz sound that reflects a lifetime of record collecting and musical study.
Picture for Midnight In A Perfect World: Karriem Riggins