The wait is finally 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 in 2020 at the age of 43 following a battle with colon cancer.
“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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