First rule about Hip Hop Book Club? Talk about it -- a lot -- with 'From the Hip'

"It was an organic conversation," said Kenny Reeves.

It was also one they wanted to share. And so Hip Hop Book Club began. The monthly event features a discussion of a chosen body of work from a hip-hop artist. It kicked off in March with a discussion about Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, with more than 50 people in attendance, "on a Monday night."

It's the old-fashioned book club, set to a beat. And a safe space to filter feelings about what can sometimes be seen as a contentious a piece of art.

The group had its "ups and downs deciding on a venue," said Attah Essien. But they settled on Josey Records to get the feel right.

"That's what we're here for, to uplift this city's appreciation of hip-hop."

Our freewheeling discussion touched on everything from favorite rap lyric to choosing a venue to the "breathtaking" Reeves' choice of attire. Each group member tackles one aspect of the work: influence, visuals, lyrics, etc.

"It's interpretive," says Reeves. "That's the beauty of what we're doing."

The next event is April 24 at Josey Records, 2821 LBJ Freeway #100, Dallas. The group will discuss Jay-Z's Reasonable Doubt. Next, says Terrance Lee, "we want to take it to the whole world."

Everybody had feels about a lot of things, including the Dallas hip-hop scene (shout-out to Attah, h/t Sobe). We found a way to discuss Jay-Z, too, but there were five Stans in the room, so take it as you will.

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