Here’s what we know so far
Good news, dear reader: Our long national nightmare is finally coming to an end. More than six years after Rihanna dropped her last album, ANTI in 2016, the pop icon is back with new music.
Let us all say amen.
Of course, Rihanna will be making her triumphant return to music in a triumphant way. After announcing she’d be headlining the 2023 Super Bowl halftime show, the singer is also reportedly dropping a pair of new songs on the Wakanda Forever soundtrack, including “Lift Me Up,” which will be released on Friday.
lift me up
A week after rumors circulated that the “Umbrella” singer would appear on the project, Marvel released a teaser on Tuesday night, which included the Wakanda Forever title card transforming into a golden R. On Wednesday, the company confirmed Rihanna’s inclusion on the soundtrack.
According to a press release by Def Jam and Roc Nation, “Lift Me Up” was written as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman. The song, which was recorded across multiple countries, was penned by Nigerian singer Tems, Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna and 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. 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 the press released. “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
The Roc Nation star will reportedly topline the project, which will feature a mixture of Afrobeats, sounds from across the African diaspora, and Spanish-language hip-hop to combine with the film’s themes.
When Black Panther debuted in 2018, Kendrick Lamar curated the soundtrack, which included several of his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates, including SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, and Zacari.
As fans prepare to return to Wakanda on Nov. 11, they’ve been itching to know more about the film’s music. This time around the approach seems to be more eclectic.
While it hasn’t been announced yet which artists will appear alongside Rihanna on the Wakanda Forever soundtrack, out November 4 (Tems, Amaarae, and Santa Fe Klan were on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Prologue, which was released in July), this film and now this album will certainly be a huge moment for the culture.
Britni Danielle is the Senior Culture Editor for Andscape. A die-hard Lakers fan, she can’t wait for the day they win one more championship than the Boston Celtics.
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