ALUMNI ROUNDUP 2018: The Year in Review

We may have shut our doors in 2016, but the former members of the World Around roster are still out there making incredible music as always, & we’ll always be part of the same family. Here’s a quick rundown of what they got into in 2018.

GodforbidJesus Chrysler + Ugly At Times

An exalted member of the extended family, World Around fans are probably familiar with Godfobid by now, whether it’s from Fear of Death and the Need For Reproduction (his joint project with Thirtyseven), his work with the legendary underground hip-hop group Alaskan Fishermen, or his antics as the mouthpiece for the internationally renowned fringe-pop band That Handsome Devil. This year, Godforbid returned to his deep-running roots in rap to release his debut solo album, Jesus Chrysler. Produced primarily by our own Louis Mackey, with additional beats by Dr. Quandary & DJ 7L (of Czarface fame), the sonic backdrop is equal parts funky, dark & psychedelic, providing the perfect tapestry for GFB’s wry observations & acerbic wit.

Godforbid also linked up with Kemo the Blaxican of the legendary West Coast crew Delinquent Habits for the three-track EP Ugly At Times, which features the two veteran emcees trading bars about the strange society we inhabit over more moody, psychedelic Dr. Quandary & Louis Mackey soundscapes.

Career CrooksThieving As Long As I’m Breathing

Continuing in their established tradition of refreshing Golden Age conceits for a modern audience, Zilla Rocca & Small Professor gave their 2017 Career Crooks debut the full remix album treatment. Thieving As Long As I’m Breathing features a few bonus B-sides alongside a handful of alternate Small Pro treatmeants, as well as remixes from the likes of DJ Manipulator, Fresh Kils & even Zilla himself.

Zilla RoccaFuture Former Rapper

On top of his contiuing Career Crookery, Zilla Rocca got into trouble on his own this year too. Originally planned as his farewell album, Future Former Rapper reintroduced the world to the Philly emcee’s noir-rap aesthetic. Newly charged by his experiences as a husband & father, Zilla assembled a team of luminaries including Curly Castro, Armand Hammer, Steel Tipped Dove & Messiah Musik to hone in on an evolved version of his signature style. The result is awesome, and from the sound of things, Zilla thankfully has a lot more in store despite his initial plans.

Dr. QuandaryJukebox Buddha Instrumentals + Cemetery Hands EP

Right on the heels of his 2017 release Jukebox Buddha, which featured a cast of rappers & vocalists including Has-Lo, Godforbid, TIMESCANNER & Astrid Engberg, Dr. Quandary kicked off 2018 by dropping Jukebox Buddha Instrumentals, offering beat heads a better glimpse at the meticulous production that went into to the project. He then followed up with the Cemetery Hands EP, which serves as kind of an epilogue to the saga, featuring new instrumentals & collaborations with Louis Mackey, PremRock & Zilla Rocca from the Jukebox Buddha sessions.

Elder OrangeAll My Friends Believe in Ghosts

The frontman & mastermind of the Vermont funk/soul band The Nektones, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist/all-around sonic wizard Matt Scott has always been a secret weapon in the World Around arsenal, frequently working behind the scenes with Dr. Quandary, Louis Mackey & Humpasaur Jones. After focusing on new material for the better part of 2017 & assuming the moniker Elder Orange, he released his debut solo effort, All My Friends Believe in Ghosts. The album is a stunning, sophisticated blend of live instrumentation & samples, the diverse tracklist covering everything from dark boom-bap to wistful orchestral soul, with each track transitioning seamlessly into the next. This is must-listen material, & easily one of our favorite albums of the year.

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