« Zac Brown, O.A.R. and a beer bath at Preakness | Main | Name That Bar, vol. 21 »

May 17, 2010

Baltimore's Makeba Riddick, songwriter for Beyonce, Rihanna

makeba riddickYou probably won't recognize the name Makeba Riddick, but I'm sure you've heard some of her songs: Rihanna's "Rude Boy," Beyonce's "Deja Vu," and T.I.'s "Live Your Life" are a few of the songs she's helped write.

Riddick, a 31-year-old Baltimore native, graduated from the Baltimore School for the Arts, got a degree in music management from Berklee College of Music and set off for New York City.

There, she linked up with Bad Boy Records, and co-wrote Jennifer Lopez's No. 1 single "All I Have." She has also penned songs for Jessica Simpson, Toni Braxton, Kelis, Mariah Carey and a host of other stars.

Here is a link to the piece. ...

I sat down with the soft-spoken Riddick about a month ago, when "Rude Boy" was still crushing the charts. Now, Riddick's songwriting is back in the Top 10 with Braxton's new album, "Pulse." In order to be a successful songwriter, you have to have a stream of hits on the charts, and Riddick has pulled it off for the past eight years. She's currently signed with Roc Nation.

Every time Riddick hears one of her songs on the radio, it's like the first time, she said. The thrill has never faded.

"It's surreal," she said. "You can't believe how this song or those lyrics we were playing around with has the whole world singing along. It's very exciting, every single time." 

(Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron)
Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by The Baltimore Sun. The Sun Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.

Follow Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Sam Sessa at 8:25 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Local music


A modern day Neil Diamond.

It's interesting these days that when you listen to the radio very rarely are you listening to the singer's own work. Thus, people don't necessarily like Ke$ha or Avril Lavigne songs as much as they like Dr. Luke songs. Same with Makeba Riddick. I hope she's making bucks because she's very talented.

True, Josh. The exception is Lady Gaga, who writes her own material. She even (gasp!) actually sings in concert. Avril co-writes most of her stuff, and Beyonce likes to hire a dozen producers/songwriters and set them up in the same recording studio when she cuts an album. It's like a pop factory.

this lady is very talented and her name should be more out seems like most of her songs became hits and she deserves a award for that.

What a talent. I enjoyed the story.

I went to middle school with her. Glad she is doing her thing.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "m" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected