After family member infected, Royce da 5'9" pitches in to fight COVID-19

Detroit rapper donated meals to Dearborn hospital on Monday, "and I'm gonna keep making the rounds," he says

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

After a close family member of his contracted cornavirus, Royce da 5'9" is doing his part to help in the fight against the global pandemic.

"This thing is real, man," says the Detroit rapper, who was not given permission to release information about or his relation to his infected family member. "It hit really close to home for me," he says, "so I just want to make sure I do my part." 

'Royce da 5'9" poses in his recording studio.

On Monday, Royce donated lunch and dinner to about 40 workers at Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn, providing a delivery of lasagna (both meat and veggie), chicken parm and linguine, salad and bread from Dearborn's Roman Village. 

"And I'm gonna keep making the rounds," he says, "just as a good gesture to show that we appreciate everything they do. We realize it's super, super dangerous and super, super hectic at every hospital right now."

He also went live on Instagram on Monday with Denise Fair, the Chief Public Health Officer of the Detroit Health Department, to help spread knowledge about the virus to his followers.

There was no script; he asked questions and took questions from his followers, including inquiring about the ways COVID-19 is affecting the prison population, and the chat was kept as informal as possible. 

"It’s an information problem," says Royce, born Ryan Montgomery. "We want to raise awareness."

MORE: Turmoil behind him, Royce da 5'9" finds his slice of Heaven

In addition, the 42-year-old says he's been connecting with fans and paying their bills, helping out where he can. Those small gestures led to the meal for hospital workers, and he says now he's putting his mind toward what he can do for the incarcerated.

He considers it leading by example, and "being the change" he wants to see. 

"I’m just going to keep doing as much as I can do," says Royce. "I want to lend anything that I have. Anything that I can lend. If it’s my voice, if it's financially, if it's volunteering my time. Whatever it is. If I can do it, I’m more than open to it." 

As for Royce, his daily routine hasn't changed much in quarantine. He's been locked down at Heaven Studios, his Birmingham recording studio where he recorded his most recent album, February's "The Allegory." "I don’t go outside for anything," he says. 

He's able to work out there, he's been getting food deliveries from Potbelly, and he's taken to drinking water straight out of the gallon jug. He's been resting his voice in recent days and is looking forward to getting in the booth and laying down some vocals.

"Creatively, I can keep everything going," he says. "I love working by myself. I kind of like it this way."