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Erykah Badu sang on the street and made how much money?

Christina Marfice

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Trending writer

Christina is a reporter based in Boise, Idaho. She's a veteran vegetarian, a political junkie and a huge grammar snob. On the weekends, she can usually be found binging on Netflix, playing the piano or petting her cats, Daisy and Dandelion.

No one recognized Erykah Badu when she played anonymously in New York

Remember Erykah Badu? New York sure doesn't.

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The singer-songwriter, record producer, activist and actress definitely had her heyday in the '90s, when her first album, Baduizm, went triple platinum. But it didn't end there. Badu's second album, a live concert recording, went double platinum, her third album went platinum and her fourth album went gold. Yeah. She's kind of a big deal.

That's why it's so surprising that when Badu went busking in Times Square, basically no one recognized her.

Gawker calls her "one of the greatest R&B singers of a generation," but from this video, you wouldn't know it. Sure, it's been a few years since she's produced an album, but come on, New York.

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The video, shot by Badu and a friend on a cell phone, shows exactly what happened when the multi-platinum singer tried to play anonymously in New York City. At the beginning of the seven-minute video, titled "Street Hustle Experiment," one person recognizes Badu and takes her photo. For the rest of the video, pretty much no one cares.

"Maybe I should take off my hat so no one recognizes me," she says. She places it on the sidewalk and launches into singing to strangers, "Please give me some money... I don't wanna get no job, I just want your money."

Maybe that was her mistake. Maybe one of her well-played singles would have been more effective. Regardless, New Yorkers were oblivious to her real identity as she danced, clapped and sang for... $3.60. That's right. Enough for, what, a slice of pizza? Maybe?

Luckily, she has a good attitude about it — after tallying up her money, she says, "Look at all this money. See, if you got some initiative, you can make money. All you need is a little initiative and a little talent."

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Check out the whole video below and then tell us your take in the comments.

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