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A digital flier for the inaugural ‘Hip-Hop Book Club'(left) aside crate-diggers at Josey Records in Dallas, Texas (right); Photo: Facebook/Josey Records


In the age of reddit AMA’s and internet everything, including yes, our hypocritical selves coming to you live from this screen machine, it still pains our hearts to see record stores devolve from the social pillars of the music community they once were.

A record shop based in Dallas, Texas is helping swing the pendulum back with a gathering called ‘Hip-Hop Book Club‘ (via  Central Track).

Certainly not the only record shop hosting social events right now across the nation, in-store performances are alive and well, and Jack White‘s always up to some crazy cool antic over at Third Man Records, but this event is definitely a special breed that appears more interested in critical thinking than album sales.

Incubated by a group of Dallas-area promoters (Attah “A.T.” Essien of Acquired Taste, Kenny Reepes and Gerrante Lee of Good Culture, and Sobechi “Sobe” Ibekwe of Social Ghost), the event’s Facebook page sums it up sweetly:

Hip-Hop Book Club is not a “book club” in a literal sense, but it is held and conducted in the same way. #HHBC is a monthly organized discussion and debate on major musical contributions to hip-hop culture by various artists. It is an event designed to educate and entertain those who are heavily influenced by the culture.

How many times have you and a friend, or a group of friends, discussed your favorite song on Biggie‘s “Ready To Die” album, or what Jay meant on “Dead Presidents” on the “Reasonable Doubt” album? This is your chance to discuss and debate your favorite albums, in one of the greatest music venues in Dallas, @JoseyRecords!

Speaking to Central Track, Attah “A.T.” Essien nodded to an all-inclusive discussion, but with special hopes of rising Dallas-area talent showing up to perhaps illustrate through the monthly convos, among key album essentials like album art, production and of course lyrics, “That hip-hop isn’t a snap-your-fingers-and-make-something-happen type of thing. It takes a lot of work and diligence.”

On the docket for the first discussion: Kendrick Lamar ‘s good kid, m.A.A.d city.

Good on you, dudes, may your ‘book club’ be successful and everyone one who shows up starts a band…or at least has another discussion off the intranets. Also, since we can’t make it — question: second verse, last bar on “m.A.A.d city,” “Kendrick, A.K.A. ‘Compton’s human sacrifice’:” bloated Kanye-ego moment, or earned truth?