Erykah Badu Earns Less Than $4 Busking in New York City

Erykah Badu posted a video of a recent "street hustle experiment" in New York City
Erykah Badu posted a video of a recent "street hustle experiment" in New York City

Looks like you can't win 'em all, Erykah. Back in the summertime, local R&B star Erykah Badu went viral when crashed a local TV news telecast in New York City, playfully trying to steal a kiss from a reporter who had no one idea what kind of celebrity he was brushing off. This week, she's back at it, trolling doing an experiment with the kind folks of the Big Apple with a video she shot on her iPhone. The experiment: To see how much money she could make busking anonymously in Times Square.

The results? Well, let's just say that Badu probably won't be quitting her day job anytime soon.

See also: Watch Erykah Badu Crash a TV News Telecast to Kiss Reporter Erykah Badu at WinStar Casino, 7/12/14

The video, which was shot last Friday, October 10, captures Badu performing for about 45 minutes in Manhattan. (It's condensed to a little over seven minutes in the video.) There are plenty of gems to be had, too: When someone comes up to ask her a question, she rebuffs, saying, "Beat it! I'm trying to do something." Moments later, after getting asked to pose for a photo, she takes off her hat, "So that people won't know who I am."

Duly prepared, Badu slides pretty convincingly into the role: "I need money!" she belts out, over and over -- just the sort of song that's not exactly going to warm the hearts of passersby. But as she gets into the swing of things, she clearly has a lot of fun, scatting about what she sees happening: "Look what's happening over there! There's a lady going in her purse," she sings at one point, only barely keeping herself from laughing.

It doesn't exactly make for a big pay day, though. When Badu counts up her earnings, it comes to a grand total of $3.60. "We can buy us a juice," she says. "I can get me a sorbet..." Except, that's probably not true in New York, Erykah. Oh well.


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