After taking a hiatus from music so that she could focus on different endeavours, a few months before her Superbowl halftime show performance, Rihanna has marked her grand return to music with a featured song on the soundtrack for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Anti, Rihanna’s last solo project, was released in 2016, and appearing on the album were tracks like Kiss It Better, Desperado, Needed Me, Love On The Brain, and Work featuring Drake, which were all notable hits for the artiste. Though she would go on to feature on tracks such as DJ Khaled’s Wild Thoughts alongside Bryson Tiller, the singer has not released a solo single in 6 years. Rihanna teased the song on Wednesday with a short video of her humming a melancholic tune with only the letter R and the release date 10.28.22 appearing on screen, and captioned the video with the song’s title, Lift Me Up.
The track’s official audio was released at midnight last night and has since garnered over a million views on YouTube. A music video for the single was released later on Friday and combined visuals of the singer and scenes from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever film. Just as in the tease, the song begins with Rihanna harmonizing on a sombre melody before beginning the single’s first chorus, “Lift me up, hold me down. Keep me close, safe and sound.”
Lift Me Up was a collaborative effort between Rihanna, Nigerian singer/songwriter, Tems, producer Ludwig Göransson, and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler, to honour Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman who passed away in 2020. Tems expressed her appreciation for being a part of the project, writing on Instagram, “Blessed to have written this song in honour of Chadwick Boseman and even more blessed to hear the baddest @badgalriri voice it to perfection.”
Responding in the comment section, Rihanna sent her love to the artiste. “It’s the pen for me. love to you sistren,” Rihanna wrote.
Watch the music video below: