Not long ago, New Jersey–based music journalist Ben Westhoff hopped into his Hyundai and drove south in search of the roots of Southern rap, a genre that has dominated the airwaves and earned itself plenty of haters (you may recall Ice-T claiming that Soulja Boy was responsible for “killing hip-hop”). His new book, Dirty South: Outkast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop, takes us along on his journey from observing rappers at a Houston strip club to partying with Luke Campbell and visiting the rough neighborhoods where T.I. and Lil Wayne were raised. Tonight, join Westhoff, who recently wrote the Voice‘s definitive guide to the best dive bars in New York City, at this reading and discussion at Book Thug Nation (100 North 3rd St., Brooklyn).

Thu., June 9, 7 p.m., 2011