VIBE Magazine’s Antidote to the Grammy’s – Meet the Vammy’s – Voting Begins Monday, January 12th

One of the world’s most prestigious music award shows is around the corner, and VIBE magazine, the definitive voice of multicultural lifestyle and culture, is weighing in. In the fresh February 2009 issue, VIBE resident music guru, Sean Fennessey, writes “THE WORD: How To Save The Grammy Awards,” which express the long standing feeling that the award show, since introducing the first hip hop category 20 years ago, continues to miss the beat of popular culture by omitting key categories and giving awards to artists not on the top of most true hip hop lovers’ lists. So, VIBE magazine has created the first annual Vammy Awards, featuring categories and nominees VIBE thinks will make the award show ballot hotter and hipper in 2009, including Vammy categories: “Best Ringtone,” “Best Hook,” and “Best Hook Artist.” The Vammy Awards winners will be determined by tallying the artists who garnered the most votes in a nationwide sweepstakes launching January 12 (12 noon EST) on VIBE.com. All entries get a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to a VIBE photo shoot along with other special prizes. Winners will be announced on February 9th, the day after the Grammys.

THE WORD “How To Save The Grammy Awards”

The Grammy’s have always had problems connecting with kids. And by kids, we mean anybody under the ago of 60.

First they hated on hip hop. Then, when they finally acknowledged the genre in 1988, they couldn’t quite find the right artists to hono. (Sorry, Will). Now, more than ever, the long-running music awards show is facing an identity crisis. If producers continue to skew old (Hi again, Santana!), they’ll keep ratings just high enough to stick around until all the loyalists die. Sure, they finally added the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration award in 2001, but somehow Linkin’ Park got one of those. This year you’ll see talented but safe newcomers like Leona Lewis and Adele in the spotlight, and Lil Wayne will get a big look for his mammoth year. But if the Recording Academy revamped some categories and tried to engage in what is truly popping in popular music, it just might have a future in these download days. Check out our revised ballot to see the artists and genres that the Grammys ought to keep their eye on¬–if they don’t want to go the way of the gramophone.

Sean Fennessey for VIBE magazine’s February issue. On stands January 20

Starting Monday, January 12, vote at VIBE.com on the VIBE Vammy ballot for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip for two to a VIBE photo shoot.