With a beautiful ballad, Rihanna returns to music with “Lift Me Up”. The song marks the pop titan’s return to music as a lead artist, after a six year hiatus. As the second song heard from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack, Rihanna’s vocals shine over minimal production in this tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman, who played the titular character.
“Lift Me Up” will serve as the ending credit song to Black Panther’s sequel and serves as one of two Rihanna tracks to appear on the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. The melancholy ballad was produced by Ludwig Göransson, who won a Grammy and an Oscar for his production on the Black Panther score. Rihanna, Göransson, Nigerian R&B songstress Tems, as well as the film’s director Ryan Coogler all have writing credits for the song.
“After speaking with Ryan Coogler [the movie’s director] and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life,” stated Tems for Complex. “I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them. Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
And that warm embrace is definitely felt within this song. Numerous news reports have stated that Coogler’s direction for the film was to serve as a tribute to Boseman, while also highlighting how Wakanda continues to be protected by those still left behind.
“Rihanna, man, we knew she was at a point in her life as well where she was focusing on different things — focused on business, motherhood, which is a big theme in our film,” stated Coogler for Variety. “We were holding out hope that maybe it could work out and boy did it for this song.”
Rihanna is ready to make the rest of 2022 and early 2023 hers. Her fourth Savage x Fenty show debuts on November 4, 2022, which will feature Brazilian pop star Anitta, drag queen Kornbread, supermodel Cara Delevingne, social media star Ricky Thompson, and Black Panther’s Winston Duke, and she’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show on February 12, 2023. The Rihanna Navy is preparing themselves for a new album as well.
In the meantime, we can enjoy “Lift Me Up” while we wait. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres in theaters on November 11, 2022.