Last week, a woman named Therra Gwyn Jaramillo described, over the course of more than 1,200 words on Facebook, how a man named Chris had bought her groceries at Whole Foods — $375 worth — in a moment of grave need.
She had not recognized her benefactor at first. But soon, another customer told her that the Chris who bought her groceries was, in fact, Ludacris, the artist behind such hits as “What’s Your Fantasy?”, “Southern Hospitality,” “Saturday (Oooh! Ooooh!)” and “Stand Up.”
Upon learning who had bought her groceries, Ms. Jaramillo burst into what she described as “the worst possible white-woman rendition” of Ludacris’s song “Rollout (My Business).”
“Ludacris,” she wrote. “This guy is awesome run amok. You know why? He was just doing something kind for a disheveled, harried stranger.”
The story was no doubt heartwarming. But was it true? How could Ms. Jaramillo have been familiar enough to rap the words of “Rollout (My Business)” while at the same time failing to recognize the man born Christopher Brian Bridges, a star of five “Fast and Furious” movies and the voice of Max in the 2018 film “Show Dogs”?
What would Ludacris even be doing at a Whole Foods? Does he do his own shopping? Does he prefer 365 Everyday Value Almond Butter to other brands?
We quickly found evidence that he really does shop at Whole Foods — and that he likes almonds quite a bit. Still, there were reasons to be suspicious. Ludacris, one Twitter account claimed back in May, had bought someone’s cousin’s groceries in Atlanta.
Had Ms. Jaramillo simply lifted details from the earlier story? Or had Ludacris pulled this stunt before?
An Atlanta news station looked into it, and it seemed she was telling the truth.
So what was this then? Does Ludacris just go to Atlanta-area grocery stores, buying household staples for civilians in need? The internet confirms he’s certainly seen at a lot of them.
A lot of them.
Even Whole Foods in different … area codes.
He’s been seen at stores in Canada.
He’s been known to make an appearance at a supermercado as well.
All in all, we found well over 100 posts of Ludacris going to grocery stores, about once a month, going back years and years. Whole Foods was a frequent destination, though he had also been seen at Sprouts Fresh Market, Publix and Costco.
We wondered whether going shopping at Whole Foods was something that popular rappers and producers of the previous decade did on a regular basis. (It is, of course, perfectly possible for a celebrity to go shopping without it being announced on social media.)
- Nelly had only been (possibly) reported at a Whole Foods on Twitter once: in 2013.
There was no sign of Ja Rule at Whole Foods, at least not on Twitter.
We reached out to Ludacris’s longtime manager, Chaka Zulu, to confirm the grocery purchasing. And also to ask: Does Ludacris go grocery shopping at an unusual frequency for a famous person?
“Funny thing,” Mr. Zulu wrote back the next day. “Luda does these things all the time. But he doesn’t want to do interviews to highlight it. It’s just his heart.”
O.K., great. Ludacris is a charitable person.
But does he do his own shopping? Like, frequently? Like, more frequently than most celebrities of his stature do?
“From time to time,” Mr. Zulu wrote, “he shops his self.”