The rap categories for the 2019 Grammy nominations are full of a number of the usual, laudable contenders (Kendrick Lamar, Drake) as well as worthy ascendant acts (Cardi B, Travis Scott). What they lack, notably, is much representation from the wilds of streaming service SoundCloud and the young, often troubled stars who redefined the genre for young fans on the internet.
Call it a generation gap or a values question. But no other genre has such a split between the breakout acts that racked up gobsmacking streaming numbers in 2018 and the Grammy establishment looking for less-divisive acts to champion as standard-bearers.
And in a year with, sadly, so much significant hip-hop from deceased young artists in contention, those absences are even more striking.