Nerves Baddington is a trio from Birmingham who have been releasing music since the mid-2010s. They had a busy year in 2022, with the release of a double album, micro/macro, along with a couple of solo projects from emcee/producer inkline. Showing no signs of slowing down in 2023, they are now back with a new EP, No Survivors.

Bassist/producer Kilgore Doubt was behind the majority of the production on micro/macro, and he’s back to provide the beats for No Survivors. The production here is dark, crisp, and focused – it’s not so much that the music is minimalist as it is that Kilgore Doubt is not wasting any piece of the music to achieve the soundscape that he’s going for. There’s not a wasted moment, and everything is exactly where it needs to be to create this moody, late night hip hop. This of course fits inkline perfectly on the mic, who is also crafting these really thoughtful verses and choruses with a lot of information packed into them. You have to listen closely, though, because inkline also never really raises his voice or gets big with the hooks or his personality on the mic. He keeps it close to the chest, but when you lean in and start paying attention to how much is right there underneath the layers of these seemingly straightforward lines, you realize that inkline is one of the most underrated emcees working today. He’s giving you a lot to think about, whether it be about the state of hip hop, addiction and the war on drugs, or capitalism and class warfare. Like I said, there’s a lot to chew on over the course of seven songs.

Nerves Baddington might not be the biggest name in hip hop, but those familiar with the Birmingham hip hop scene know that they’ve been crafting some of the most creative and thoughtful projects over the last few years. Kilgore Doubt and inkline didn’t have to go big to achieve a lot with this EP.