The Roots, "Champion." In 2015, the NBA used Kendrick Lamar's "i" as its theme music. This year, the league commissioned Philadelphia's Tonight Show band the Roots, busy this week with their annual picnic at Festival Pier on Saturday, to write this anthem - in which Black Thought declares himself "the noble dean from the global team" and "a pillar like a column in the Pantheon."
Lushlife. Philadelphia rapper-producer Raj Haldar and backing band CSLSX return to town behind the new Ritualize, this time in support of Canadian indie band Islands, who this month pulled a Guns N' Roses and released two new albums, Taste and Should I Remain Here At Sea?, on the same day. 9 p.m. Sunday at Johnny Brenda's.
Dan DeLuca is an Inquirer pop music critic. But his "In the Mix" column in the Weekend section ventures further afield, into books, movies, TV, the Internet, graphic novels and anything you might call "popular culture."