“Lift Me Up” is taken from the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack album, which is set to be released on Nov. 4, i.e. one week ahead of the film’s theatrical rollout. In a statement released Wednesday, Tems—a co-writer on the song—detailed the inspiration behind the soon-to-be-unveiled Rihanna track.
“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. “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 honor.”
“Lift Me Up” was written by Tems, Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna, and Ryan Coogler. The latter, of course, is also the director of Black Panther and its sequel.
Boseman, 43, died in August 2020 due to complications from colon cancer. In a recent Empire mag discussion, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige opened up about the discussions he and Coogler had about the best way to honor Boseman’s T’Challa in Wakanda Forever. According to Feige, it was simply “much too soon” to even think about recasting the role.
“The world is still processing the loss of Chad,” he said.
Rihanna’s label Westbury Road is set to release “Lift Me Up” this Friday in partnership with Roc Nation, Def Jam, and Hollywood Records. As fans already know, Rihanna’s most recent studio album is 2016’s Anti, which remains in rotation to this day for this writer and countless others. In Wednesday’s press release, it’s noted that “Lift Me Up” will mark the beginning of Rihanna’s “next era.”