Complex TV has teamed with radio and digital entrepreneur Al Lindstrom and Allindstrom.com to present his annual "Hip-Hop Award Season." The series has quickly become a staple for year-end commentary in rap, with a panel of well-respected journalists and experts alike weighing in on four different categories: "Rookie of the Year," "Most Improved," "6th Man of the Year," and "MVP." This year's panelists include Joe La Puma (Director of Content Strategy, Complex), Brian "B. Dot" Miller (Content Director, Rap Radar), Reggie Ossé a.k.a. Combat Jack (Host, The Combat Jack Show), Charlamagne Tha God (Host, Power 105's The Breakfast Club), Jeff Sledge (A&R Executive; Host, Pop Life Podcast), as well as Jayson Rodriguez (Freelance Writer; Editor), who also handles moderator duties. Stay tuned as we unveil their round table debate for each category this week and next week.
In the third segment for Al Lindstrom's "Hip-Hop Award Season" the panel debates which rapper should earn the title of 2013's "6th Man of the Year." Moderator Jayson Rodriguez breaks down the criteria for this category explaining a suitable nominee is a rapper who's on the cusp of greatness. Or better yet, to run with the analogy of a "6th Man," it's someone who's great off the bench but can't hold their own as a starter. The panelists nominees are Action Bronson, J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, and Macklemore.
Jeff Sledge argues his case for J. Cole, describing his accomplishments as well as what he needs to do to take his career to the next level. "Each album keeps improving sales-wise. This time he did three and change," Jeff says, referring to Born Sinner selling 297,000 copies in its first week. He also applauds the 28-year-old rapper for "Crooked Smile" and "Power Trip," two singles that proved he had mainstream appeal. "With all that being said, he's still not coming to New York or Philly or whatever, where he's doing an arena show."
Jayson counters with Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky, who had a solid 2013 with the release of his debut studio album Long.Live.A$AP. "This year, he rolled out 'Fuckin' Problems.' He chased the single. Next year he's going to bend radio to him," Jayson states. "All the things that you see him doing next year is gonna make him go from '6th Man' to 'MVP.'"
B. Dot puts his full support behind Macklemore. He uses the "6th Man" analogy by comparing the Seattle rapper to J.R. Smith, the go-to guy off the bench for the New York Knicks who has also become a dependable starter as of late. "Based off what Jayson said, Macklemore ordered his food last year and this year he's eating it, statistically," he says. "The guy sold seven million records off of one single. Second single, three million [records]. Platinum album." The pick is somewhat controversial, though B. Dot's not the only one who ends up siding with Macklemore.
Watch the full clip above to find out which rapper is crowned "6th Man of the Year." If you missed out on the "Rookie of the Year" and "Most Improved" debates, catch up here and here. Stay tuned to Complex TV as we'll be revealing 2013's "MVP" this Thursday.
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