Global icon Rihanna – a woman of many titles including singer, songwriter, philanthropist, designer, entrepreneur and, most recently, mommy – debuts new music for the first time in six years. We had our suspicions when the bad gal billionaire announced she would be headlining the Super Bowl LVII halftime show. Now it is official with the release of “Lift Me Up,” the lead single from the motion picture soundtrack for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
The song, co-written by Tems, Oscar-winning Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson, Ryan Coogler and Rihanna, is a tribute to the life and legacy of our forever Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman. Rihanna’s voice sails sweetly over the beautifully arranged instrumentation as she makes her heartfelt appeal. “Lift me up / Hold me down / Keep me close / Safe and sound,” she sings. As the song builds to a crescendo, background vocals are interwoven with hers to soothe listeners with a comforting, reassuring peace.
The new mom, who welcomed a son in May with partner A$AP Rocky, delivers the impactful feeling Tems was aiming for on this uplifting lullaby. “After speaking with Ryan 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," Tems said in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
“Lift Me Up” is the first of two songs that Rihanna contributes to the soundtrack entitled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From And Inspired By. The second track, “Born Again,” is forthcoming and rumored to run during the film's credits.
Rihanna is to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever what Kendrick Lamar was to Black Panther, the perfect choice for a film that focuses on mothers and feminine energy, as Lamar was for the former, a film focused on a Black king and Black pride.
“Rihanna was at the top of that list," Coogler told The Hollywood Reporter. "We knew she was at a point in her life as well where she was focusing on different things — you know, focusing on business, motherhood, which is a big theme in our film — so we were holding out hope that maybe it could work out and, boy, did it." If “Lift Me Up” is any indication, Coogler is two-for-two with powerful songs leading the franchise's soundtracks.
Two iconic events are colliding to produce the Black joy we need as we stroll to the polls this election season. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on Friday, November 11th and long-awaited new music from Rihanna is out now with more to come when Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Music From And Inspired By is released on Friday, November 4th on Roc Nation/Def Jam Recordings/Hollywood Music.
“Lift Me Up” is sure to be a tear-jerker as we return to Wakanda following the death of Chadwick Boseman. All hail the King – and Queen Rihanna. Take a moment to gather some tissues before you listen to “Lift Me Up” and its instrumental and watch the official lyric video, Wakandan lyric video and Black Panther visualizer below.- Advertisement -