When I was in college, one of my best friends regularly employed the slogan, “every day is a Friday.” It was a myopic mantra only able to ring true for four years — tops. Or forever if you live the life of sloth and indolence that we practice here at Kramerica Industries.

Barring an existence of independent wealth and/or hawking the heaviest of haze, the post-graduate lifestyle isn’t conducive to weeknight partying. There are only so many 7:00 a.m. alarm clocks you can crush and eventually, many settle into the routine of  Tivo’d TV shows and quarts of Cabernet. But there’s always those who heard too much Supreme Clientele and know the necessity of going against the grain. File Zilla Rocca as that stripe of 100 proof, the supreme shadowboxer, the single malt Scotch slurping, noir-hop nabob, whose Nights and Weekends project is the most well-rounded record he’s ever made.

In many ways, it’s the opposite of a record like XXX. Whereas Danny Brown’s latest brilliantly treats the creep of 30 as an excuse to crawl with paranoia and fear and loathing, Nights and Weekends is the sound of an artist relaxing and slipping comfortably within his own Executive trench coat.  Zilla’s earlier Shadowboxer efforts spit out bleak Philadelphia gloom with sharpened pencil, lead poisoned precision, Nights and Weekends finds him kicking back and sipping on Creme de Menthe, with the requisite Phillip Marlowe clips still Netflixed.

“Vaguely Jamaican” features wide-awake flows over sativa-scorched dub. You already heard the curse of the “Black Cherry” and the kaleidoscopic “Full Spectrum.” “Something Good” finds Curly Castro and My Man Shafe helping Zilla scour the streets of Philly for the dream object of the fairer sex.

Arguably the most underrated rapper/producer out right now, Has-Lo delivers the beat on “Michael Caine Glasses,” replete with opaque tint and pyroclastic heat. Throughout the record carves out an elemental balance between riotous Saturday nights and languid Sunday cookouts. If you’ve checked out Zilla’s music before and walked away underwhelmed, this is a record that could change your mind. Inveterate cynic Disco Vietnam sent me his one word review earlier afternoon: this is fire. Maybe my college friend was right after all.

Stream: Zilla Rocca-Nights & Weekends @ Bandcamp

Zilla Rocca – Black Cherry (prod by Zilla Rocca) by ZillaRoccaNoir

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