If Jay Z made the Yankees cap famous, you could say the same about Stalley and the Cleveland Indians—no disrespect to Willie Mays Hayes. So with his new mixtape, Honest Cowboy, dropping last Thursday, we decided to get up with the Ohio native to talk about his Indians fitted obsession.

Interview by Aron Phillips (@the_real_aron)

What was your first cap?
Man, my first cap that I can remember wearing had to be an Indians one. Going off some pictures in my mind, I had to be six or seven years old, and it was probably before an Indians game so I’d have something to wear. I remember my mom got it for me.

Nowadays, how many are in your collection, and how many of them are Indians caps?
I have over 100 caps, and I would say 90 percent of those, maybe 85 percent, are Indians caps. (laughs) And they’re all different—Chief Wahoo, Crooked C, Block C, different colorways. I usually try and wear all the on-field caps the players wear, the 59Fiftys. I have some 9FIFTYs too. All the Indians caps I have are fitted.

 

I stay true to my roots and feel bad wearing another team.

 

Was there a moment when you became a collector, or did it progress naturally over time?
I think it just progressed naturally over time. It was partly me always wanting a cap to wear and represent my city and my state, and to also represent the Indians who are my favorite baseball team. It’s not only the Indians though; I have caps from Ohio State and some of the minor league teams like the Akron Aeros and Columbus Clippers, and even have a Columbus Blue Jackets crown on my head right now.

Explain what you mean by crown.
I call my caps ‘crowns.’ Even in one of my raps I say, “I got a crown on my wrist and a crown on my top…” That is what it is. I’m not saying I’m the King of Ohio or anything like that. I feel like a king always wears a crown, and as a prince, a strong man who walks around and represents for my state, it makes sense. Back in the day, whether they were Greeks or Egyptians, they had crowns and represented where they are from.

Do you feel a responsibility to put on for your home state?
I do feel that way sometimes, but it’s cool because I’m from Massillon in Northeast Ohio, and I’m a huge Indians fan, Browns fan, Cavs fan, and love Ohio State further down in Columbus. Even though the Bengals and Reds are Ohio teams, it’s really all about the Northeast. I stay true to my roots and feel bad wearing another team.

Are you superstitious about particular caps?
Nah, not really. My only superstition is that I need an Ohio cap on my head if I’m doing a big event, or performing on national TV, or doing a photo shoot for a big spread and I know a lot of eyes are going to be on it. For music videos and such, I always make sure I have an Indians cap or something from Ohio to wear.

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