“Lift Me Up”: Rhianna’s soft re-entry into the music scene

Anusha Srivastava, Managing Editor of Production

After a long wait, the one and only BadGalRiri has returned. It has been 6 years since Rihanna has released a song. Many have been waiting for a new song and album; however, Lift Me Up is technically not her true comeback single.  

While many were still waiting for an EP, Rihanna had been plenty busy. In 2017, she released her first line of cosmetics called Fenty Beauty: a line focused on including  women of all colors. In 2018, she released Savage X Fenty: a line of body inclusive clothing. Later that year, she became an ambassador to promote education and tourism for her home island of Barbados. A year later in 2019, she released her first coffee table book Rihanna, and earlier this year i

Rihanna poses in new “Lift Me Up” cover art. (Photo by Courtesy of @badgalriri on Instagram)

n May, she had her first son with A$AP Rocky. Not to mention she also used her platform to advocate for human rights, encourage voting, and support immigrants in her time away from music. Lift Me Up, released on October 28, 2022, serves as a tribute song to the late actor, director, producer, and screenwriter Chadwick Boseman. In late August of 2020, the 43 year old actor passed away from colon cancer. Although originally diagnosed in 2016, Boseman kept his diagnosis private. During that time in 2016, he premiered in his first Marvel movie: Captain America: Civil War

In Captain America: Civil War Boseman introduced the new Marvel character of T’Challa, the king of a distant and highly technologically developed country, Wakanda. This movie was the first of a five picture movie deal that he would have been in. Boseman also played a large role in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: End Game (2019), but most significantly his own superhero movie Black Panther (2018).

Since this song is meant to convey the sad and premature death of the actor, this song is far different from Rihanna’s typical pop and R&B hits. Appropriately, this song is a ballad that pays tribute to Boseman debuted in the sequel of Black PantherBlack Panther: Wakanda Forever released November 11, 2022. This movie portrays the mourning and grief felt in Wakanda after the death of T’Challa, and the process of moving on from and honoring loved ones after death. 

Many hope that this song is just one of the many on the way from Rihanna. In 2018, the singer hinted at a reggae album being in the works in a 2018 edition of Vogue magazine. While not yet released, a lot of people are waiting eagerly in anticipation of this album drop. Despite the long awaited music, she is not leaving completely high and dry. Recently on Instagram, the singer announced that she will be performing in the upcoming Super Bowl LVII. Even if this is not a new album, it will be great to have Rihanna take the stage once again.