Maybe you saw it last week: The viral Facebook post about Ludacris buying groceries for a stranger at Whole Foods. The writer Therra Gwyn Jaramillo had written, at length, about how, in a moment of financial desperation, a friend had given her a $250 gift certificate to the fancy-groceries emporium. But she’d picked up more than $250 worth of groceries, and the stranger in front of her in line simply told her that he’d buy her entire grocery load. She cried tears of gratitude, and she didn’t realize until she’d left the store that her mysterious benefactor — who, she writes, introduced himself as both “Chris” and “just a guy” — was actually Atlanta pop-rap megastar Ludacris.
On that post, Jaramillo writes glowingly about the man: “Ludacris. This guy is awesome run amok. You know why? He was just doing something kind for a disheveled, harried stranger. Showing the love in his soul. Shining a light in the world.” She also says that, when informed of the man’s identity, she “launched into the worst possible white-woman rendition of his hit ‘Rollout (My Business).'”
It’s a nice story! It’s such a nice story, in fact, that the local Atlanta new station 11 Alive did a follow-up interview with Jaramillo:
And it’s also such a nice story that The New York Times looked into it, uncovering social-media evidence of Ludacris shopping at Whole Foods. Apparently, he makes a habit of buying groceries for strangers. He’s been spotted multiple times at Whole Foods in Atlanta, and he’s also visited the chain in far-flung places like Phoenix, Toronto, and Oxnard, California. (He goes to other grocery stores, too.)
The Times also asked Luda’s manager Chaka Zulu about it. Chaka confirms, “From time to time, he shops his self.” And he also helps out other people financially when he can: “Funny thing, Luda does these things all the time. But he doesn’t want to do interviews to highlight it. It’s just his heart.”