Erykah Badu Busked on the Streets of New York and Only Made $3.60

By Ezra Marcus

Erykah Badu conducted a guerrilla sociological experiment on the streets of Time Square recently.

As anyone whose ever lived, visited or watched any media set in New York knows, busking is widespread practice there. Clearly this has made an impact on Badu. The neo-soul legend recently set up on the corner in Midtown Manhattan and started singing, seemingly coming up with lyrics on the spot.

Related: Janelle Monae Gets Funky with Erykah Badu on ‘Q.U.E.E.N.’

“I ain’t sold an album in two years,” she belted. “Give me some money! I don’t want to get no job.”

Passersby seem mostly uninterested in a video posted of the occasion; her 10-gallon hat stays empty, for the most part.

By the end of the seven-minute clip she’s only made $3.60. Not much for an artist whose sold well over a million albums in her decades-long career.

Lest anyone accuse her of mocking the less fortunate, Badu added: “In no way is this video a reflection of my feelings about homeless or unfortunate families nor individuals who have no other means of survival in our world.”

Badu’s last album New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) was released in 2010 and sold 110,000 copies in its first week.





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