We always remove it. It's pretty painstaking, as you don't want to remove a lot of meat. But if you're applying rub to that surface, don't you want the rub to directly contact the meat?
Don't practice until you get it right; practice until you can't get it wrong.
Don't overthink or undercook.
180 Brisket -- Sam's Club, Salt Lake City, UT 2014
180 Chicken -- Sam's Club National, Bentonville, AR 2013
Rhythm 'n QUE