Earlier this year, Drake showed up unexpectedly at a Miami supermarket and announced he’d be footing the grocery bill for all its customers. He then famously turned the good deed into footage for his “God’s Plan” music video. As it turns out he’s not the only rapper sharing his success with the general public: As the New York Times reports, Ludacris has been buying groceries for random strangers, from all over North America, for quite possibly the last eight years.
NYT uncovered the heartwarming story after one woman named Therra Gwyn Jaramillo relayed her Whole Foods encounter with the rapper in a lengthy Facebook posting. Jaramillo, who hails from Ludacris’ Atlanta hometown, admitted that she had no idea who the good samaritan was at first, but that she was moved to tears regardless by the kind, $375 gesture:
I stared wide-eyed at this handsome young African-American man, this stranger, as if he’d just dropped through the ceiling like a black James Bond, like a Batman, like the Black Panther. Then I started to cry.
We shook hands. Then I hugged him, shedding tears on the tattoo on his shoulder. I thanked him but I was so stunned that even as we made small talk (he asked me about my four dogs) I tripped over my words, all the while thinking, “I’m talking to an angel. Should I tell him? Should I tell him he’s an angel?”
“Who ARE you?” I asked at one point, in true wonder.
“Just a guy,” he said.
Upon finally realizing that this “black James Bond” was in fact Ludacris, hitmaker behind “What’s Your Fantasy” and “Area Codes”, she immediately “yelled and in my hysteria launched into the worst possible white-woman rendition of his hit “Rollout (My Business)” thus probably undoing all goodwill any person of color in that line felt for me while watching me sob so gratefully on the Grammy-winner’s shoulder.”
The NYT used this anecdote as a jumping off point for its investigation, which eventually yielded more than 100 similar social media posts about Ludacris and his penchant for grocery shopping and generosity. Per these postings, it appears the rapper’s “Southern Hospitality” goes well beyond the confines of Atlanta, as strangers have spotted him in Austin, the outskirts of Los Angeles, and Miami. Ludacris even visited supermarkets all the way out west in Maui and up north in Toronto.
According to the MC’s manager, Chaka Zulu, Ludacris has been a Grocery Good Guy for a long time now, but chooses not to broadcast it (or try to trademark it), like say, with a music video. “Funny thing… Luda does these things all the time,” Zula told NYT. “But he doesn’t want to do interviews to highlight it. It’s just his heart.”
Beyond being a good samaritan, Ludacris has plenty of other good reasons to frequent the grocery store. The rapper has opened up his own Chicken-n-Beer restaurant in Atlanta, named after his fourth album of the same name. He’s also cooked up yummy dishes with Martha Stewart.
Below, read Jaramillo’s full account, followed by a few choice tweets from those blessed by Ludacris’ gift-giving.