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Musician and producer KARRIEM RIGGINS was born August 25, 1975 in Detroit. Riggins’ parents realized their son was gifted at an early age: not only would Riggins dig through his parents’ record collection as a young child but he would also accompany his father to the studio and play with instruments in the likeness of a musical great. Riggins continued his ongoing affair with music by studying it in school and making hip-hop music during his middle and high school days.
Riggins turned his love into a profession, moving to New York City in 1994 at the age of 19. He joined Jazz Ahead, the band of renowned jazz singer Betty Carter, as a drummer. While Riggins strengthened and developed his forte, the jazz world became enraptured with such an exceptional performer. After working with Betty Carter and Jazz Ahead, Riggins went on to perform with and appear on recordings with various jazz greats such as Hank Jones, Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Milt Jackson, Donald Byrd, Cedar Walton, Bobby Hutcherson, Kenny Burrell, Benny Green, Mulgrew Miller, Ron Carter, Gary Bartz, and Diana Krall.
Riggins has made major accomplishments within the hip-hop world as a musician and producer. He produced tracks on some of Common’s albums, such as 1997’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense, 2000’s Like Water for Chocolate, and 2005’s Be. Riggins has also done production work for artists such as Slum Village, producing tracks on albums such as 2001’s Trinity, with the hit single “Tainted Love,” and 2002’s Dirty District. Riggins has also produced for Philadelphia’s own, The Roots, on their 2002 Phrenology album, with a track called “Quills.” Additionally, he has worked with Talib Kweli and Kanye West, where he helped Kanye demo some theme songs for Mission: Impossible III which featuring Twista and Keyshia Cole. Riggins produced a track for Paramount Pictures’ feature Smoking Aces called “Play Your Cards Right,” featuring Common and Bilal. Riggins recently produced “Solider,” a single from Erykah Badu’s 2008 album, New Amerykah, Part I: 4th World War. Currently, Riggins is in the process of developing his first self-titled album, showcasing his unique range as a hip-hop producer and established jazz musician.