If you saw Erykah Badu singing in the street, you’d stop and give a listen, right? (Let’s be honest, you’d whip out your phone and press record.) Well, the people in New York City walked right by the Grammy Award-winning singer without recognizing her signature voice as she stood on one of the busiest corners in Times Square and jokingly sang for coins.
“I always wanted to see what it would be like to sing for money on the streets,” she explained as she prepared for what she called a “street hustle experiment.”
“I haven’t sold a record in two years,” she sang, “so a sister needs some money. Can I have some money?”
With an iPhone camera in tow, she found a spot on the ever-bustling 42nd Street, placed her hat before her and sang to passing pedestrians. “I don’t want to get no real job,” she continued. “I just want to be out here selling my songs! Can I have some money?”
Watch the video above and find out how successful the 2014 ESSENCE Festival headliner was.