Greenbacks by Ray Charles - Roots of Rap

March 6, 2020

Greenbacks by Ray Charles

Greenbacks was a song by Ray Charles that appeared on the album Ray Charles. The track originally was released in 1957 on Atlantic Records and it was re-released as Hallelujah I Love Her So in 1962. The track is an example of proto rap, with Charles jive-talking about women and money.

Genius on Rap

Greenbacks was written by Charles' musical director and trumpeteer Renald Richard and was first recorded and released by Ray Charles and His Band in 1955. It is hard to pinpoint why this song it is underrated and fallen to the wayside. The track certainly deserves much more attention.  Greenbacks, that In 1955went to #5 on the US R&B charts, combines a punchy horn section with awesome early rap vocals. Rolling Magazine called him The Genius on rap.

 Defintion of rap according to Ray Charles
The truth of the matter is, all rap is is talking to the beat.
As I was walking down the street last night
A pretty little girl came into sight
I bowed and smiled and asked her name
She said, “Hold it bud, I don’t play that game”
I reached in my pocket, and to her big surprise
There was Lincoln staring her dead in the eyes.

Source: Rate Your Music, Rolling Stone, Wikipedia 
Source image: Wikipedia

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