The wait is over: “Lift Me Up,” Rihanna‘s first new music since 2016’s Anti, arrived at the stroke of midnight on Friday.
“Lift me up / Hold me down / keep me close / safe and sound,” Ri sings, over a continuous graphic of the titular character’s mask, hovering over the fog-covered landscape of Wakanda, the fictional country in East Africa where the movie is set.
The lead single from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — Music From and Inspired By, written by Tems, Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna and director Ryan Coogler, is a moving tribute to the late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 of colon cancer at the age of 43.
“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. I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them,” Tems said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor,” the Nigerian artist added.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — Music From and Inspired By will be available on November 4. The movie comes out November 11.
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