No, but it's been years of waiting.
After weeks of speculation, Rihanna finally confirmed her appearance on the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. The singer recently revealed she’s behind the lead single for the album. The track is called “Lift Me Up,” and it will drop on Oct. 28. The revelation doesn’t even seem real, considering fans have been screaming “Where’s the album?!” at Rihanna since she last released solo music in 2016. This announcement has certainly lifted Navy’s hopes that she’s back on the music scene for good.
On Oct. 26, the star shared a 15-second video of “Lift Me Up” on social media. The brief clip, which has already garnered over 4.6 million views on Twitter, features what appears to be her melodic hums over a string-like production. Only Rihanna could send her fans into a frenzy with a wordless snippet.
According to a press release, the track was written as a tribute to the late Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, who died in August 2020. The single also has impressive writing credits from Tems, Ludwig Göransson, and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler.
Shortly before the official announcement, Marvel hinted at Rihanna’s involvement in the film’s soundtrack through a short video on Twitter. At the time, the clip didn’t explicitly mention the singer by name, but its constant emphasis on the letter ‘R’ screamed Rihanna.
Of course, the mere fact that Rihanna’s releasing new music after an endless drought caused a passionate response on Twitter. Even her Fenty Beauty brand can’t believe she’s releasing music.
Tems shared in a press release that “Lift Me Up” would be a comforting track about grief for those who have lost a loved one. Well, it looks like fans might need a box of tissue for Friday’s listen.
Between this grief-stricken record and all the glimpses of Boseman in the film’s trailer, this release will definitely be an emotional one.
No one could have predicted that Rihanna’s return to music would be through a Marvel movie. Talk about a flex.
With Rihanna finally dropping new music (as well as Adele, SZA, Beyoncé, and Kendrick Lamar in the past year), her title as the artist whose fans are begging for new music can be passed on. Who else hasn’t released new tracks recently? All eyes are now on Frank Ocean and Ariana Grande.
Honestly, Oct. 28 can’t come fast enough.