As a “street hustle experiment,” Erykah Badu recently spent an evening posted up on a corner in Times Square, singing for passersby in the hope that they would dump some change into her enormous hat. She wore enough chunky jewelry that I can’t believe nobody recognized her, and she pretty much just sang “gimme some money” at everyone who walked past. In a weird way, the improvised thing she was singing was the closest thing we’ve heard to a new Erykah Badu song in quite some time. (Ad-libbed lyric: “Haven’t sold a record in a long time.”) Badu filmed the whole thing on her iPhone, and she walked away with a grand total of $3.60. Watch it all happen below.
Badu could’ve probably sung at Town Hall, a few blocks away, and walked away with literally ten thousand times that amount, at the very least. (To be fair, though, it looks like she wasn’t out there that long.)