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Every Day I’m Hustlin’

Ken Jordan

Photo: Baynard Woods, License: N/A

Baynard Woods

Clad in an orange prison jumpsuit, Ken Jordan plucks on a ukulele and sings “Cold Coffee Still Makes Me Poop,” one of his original songs. “I think it’s a reasonable question,” the member of the EMP collective says between songs, “whether you can expect someone to give you money when you’re singing about cold coffee making you poop.” Others may ask the same question: Jordan has been standing out here playing for two hours today and has made $3.75. He shrugs. “It’s only offensive if you’re listening,” he says. “I have a permit and I don’t use any bad words. It’s really about trying to figure out the kind of persona that is most interesting.”

He hasn’t been playing the uke very long, and he plucks it softly as he sings in a high falsetto. “It’s interesting how the instrument is kind of ubiquitous right now, but I never see street performers with it,” he says and starts singing again. When he finishes a song, he bows and says “You’re welcome.” Someone drops 75 cents into his bowl.

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