This year has been amazing in terms of the quality and quantity of music we’ve received. 2018 has been filled with plenty of notable projects from some of the industry’s leaders, as well as surprising contributions from a few newcomers. In other ways, the year has been terrible in terms of the number of promising talents we’ve lost. XXXTentacion, Mac Miller, Jimmy Wopo, Fredo Santana, Lil Lonnie, and others were all taken far too soon. After X’s “Best New Artist” win at the recent BET Hip-Hop Awards, many were expecting the artist to land himself a posthumous Grammy nom but it turns out that he’s not eligible in the same category.

As previously reported, Cardi B and Post Malone will also not be facing off in the “Best New Artist” category and now we know that XXXTentacion will not be included either. According to XXL and Hits Daily Double, the release date for the late artist’s 17 album was just a few weeks too early for him to be considered. 17 was released in August 2017, which was five weeks too early for the rapper to become eligible for the “Best New Artist” title. If the circumstances were different, X would have been the first artist to ever be nominated posthumously in the category.

Despite the field being a little less crowded than expected, there is still a long list of artists competing for the prestigious title. Lil Pump, Lil Skies, Juice WRLD, Lil Baby, Lil Peep, Ella Mai, H.E.R. and others are all expected to be in the running for a nomination. 

The Grammy Awards will air on February 10, 2019.