There’s always echelons of fandom: standards that separate the casual appreciator from the the true connoisseur. When it comes to the obsessive world of vintage rap tees, DJ Ross One is king. A collector by nature, Ross fell in love with hip-hop T-shirts at the tender age of 13. Ross’ infatuation stems from growing up in Ohio and “just wanting to be a part of this hip-hop thing, and the best way to be a part of those things when you’re a kid and you’re a fan is to wear a T-shirt.” It's a sentiment any hip hop head knows well, FADER's own Rob Stone says, "We wore those shirts like a badge of honor because hip hop culture was an underground movement and you had to be part of it to get it."
Now, Ross’ 300+ strong collection contains some of the rarest bootleg and one-off rap tees every created. The idea to collect them—plus the few hundred he doesn’t already own— into a book was a natural evolution. In a new FADER video, debuting above, we head over to his New York City apartment to immerse ourselves in his encyclopedic hip-hop knowledge, peep some serious merch gems, and hang out with his surly cat.