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 second segment for Al Lindstrom's "Hip-Hop Award Season" the panel discuss which rapper should be crowned "Most Improved" for 2013. As opposed to the last debate for "Rookie of the Year," each panelist this time has their own individual selections. Their nominees are Big Sean—who won "Most Improved" in 2012—Pusha T, Drake, Mac Miller, Eminem, and Run The Jewels. B. Dot describes his decision behind picking Drake, stating the rapper stepped his lyricism up since releasing the R&B-heavy Take Care in 2011. "I picked up Nothing Was The Same, and nothing was the same," he says. "I think he was rapping at a high level. I just liked everything about the entire project. I was really impressed by it overall."
Joe La Puma counters with Mac Miller, who made a big splash this year with his acclaimed sophomore album Watching Movies with the Sound Off. Charlamagne quickly joins Joe by switching his vote from Big Sean to Miller as he recalls a specific moment when he was impressed by the Pittsburgh MC. Of course, Charlamagne can't toss a compliment without his usual banter. "I remember this year before Watching Movies came out I was listening to his joints and I'm like, aight, who from TDE's writing your rhymes?"
Jayson Rodriguez offers a compelling case for Killer Mike and El-P, better known as the dynamic duo Run The Jewels. He explains their decision to team up has paid dividends for their success, most noticeable on their collaborative self-titled debut. "Together, the compromise that they each had to make, I think it's made them more palatable," Jayson contends. "I think we can all agree it's one of the best projects of the year." Combat Jack adds to the Run The Jewels campaign by describing their NYC performance this past August. "I went to their show at Webster Hall. Top five shows of the year."
Watch the full clip above to find out which rapper is "Most Improved" for 2013. If you missed out on the "Rookie of the Year" debate, catch up here. Stay tuned to Complex TV as we'll be revealing the "6th Man of the Year" and 2013's "MVP" next week.