Rihanna’s new song is a powerful tribute to Chadwick Boseman – this is how the world is reacting

Written by Morgan Cormack

Rihanna has returned to music with her comeback single Lift Me Up, one of the leading singles from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack – here’s how the world is reacting. 

The weather may be bleak right now, but how can you be in a bad mood when Rihanna has just dropped new music?

The star’s long-awaited return to our airwaves has been marked by the release of Lift Me Up, her contribution to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which will be available to watch in cinemas nationwide on 11 November.

Nearly seven years after the release of her last album Anti, it’s safe to say that fans (read: us) have been more than a little excited to hear her vocals again. The track is a move away from her usual melodies – and for good reason. This single is a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who played the leading role of T’Challa in Black Panther and passed away in August 2020 at the age of 43.

The song opens: “Lift me up/Hold me down/Keep me close/Safe and sound. Burning in a hopeless dream/Hold me when you go to sleep.” 

The track was co-written by Rihanna, Tems, Ludwig Göransson and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler.

“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 statement. “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 honour,” Tems added.

Knowing that the second instalment of the Black Panther films is a tribute to the legacy of Boseman has meant that excitement for the film has been at an all-time high – but is also a bittersweet addition to the franchise without him.

Announcing the single earlier this week, both Marvel and Rihanna shared teaser images and the single’s cover art, which includes the song’s title and Rihanna’s name in Xhosa, the South African language used by the characters in Wakanda.

It’s safe to say that the world has been bowled over by the new track.

It really is the kind of ethereal and emotional song needed for an highly anticipated film like Wakanda Forever

We’ve waited six years for new Rihanna and did it disappoint? Certainly not.

The single plays at the end of the new film, which we’re sure will leave us all in tears. 

It really does leave you with goosebumps after listening.

And we’re glad that such a powerful song has marked Rihanna’s musical return.

The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack will be released on all streaming platforms next Friday 4 November.

Images: Getty

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