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 first segment for Al Lindstrom's "Hip-Hop Award Season," the panel tackles the "Rookie of the Year" category. The debate kicks off with each panelist revealing their choices, with Chance The Rapper, French Montana, Troy Ave, and Rich Homie Quan all getting nominations. From there it becomes a heated back-and-forth as each person argues for their pick. Joe La Puma offers his argument for Chance, who recently received the cover of Complex off the strength of his incredible mixtape Acid Rap. "As a true rookie, I don't think many people were talking about him," he says. "He kind of burst on the scene. He delivered, and now he's gonna be a star. A big star." Combat Jack seconds La Puma's choice, explaining that Chance's appeal reaches old and newer fans of hip-hop.
Charlamagne Tha God puts his full support behind Troy Ave. The Crown Heights, Brooklyn native recently released his debut album New York City: The Album to positive reviews and Charlamagne feels he should be given the proper recognition for his efforts. "I think the album's phenomenal. He reminds me of a young 50 Cent," he says. "I think he's bringing back that New York, D-boy, fly and fresh Brooklyn swag."
The panelists make their final decision, but not without some more friendly protest. Chance, Troy, or Rich Homie? Watch the full clip above to find out who is 2013's "Rookie of the Year." Stay locked into Complex TV this week as we'll also be revealing this year's "Most Improved" rapper on Thursday.