Bandied about on the regular ever since Nas released his provocatively-titled album in ‘06, the “Hip-Hop is Dead” memo now seems destined stick around as long as the music itself. And thank God for that – without the question of the genre’s mortality hanging in the air, up-and-comers like R.O.E. wouldn’t be motivated to swoop in and Revive it. The Chi-town repper’s first feature since his late-‘09 Booth debut, this EP standout finds J. Slikk cooking up a retro yet progressive chopped-soul-sample beat (drawn from Barbara Mason’s Girls Have Feelings Too) as the emcee gives his all on the mic. Exhibiting even more confidence and and ingenuity than on his Booth debut, R.O.E. zig-zags his way through complex yet conversational bars: “Feelin’ like Moses when the Red Sea parted / Boom-bap rap, I ain’t tryin’ to get charted / I’m just dishin’ that real to the fake – I’m cold-hearted.” By the end of the record, even the most jaded heads should be fully convinced that true hip-hop lives on in this rising star’s heart. If you’re digging this impassioned banger, you owe it to yourself to check out the emcee’s A Backpacker Named R.O.E EP, released to the net March 11.