Rihanna has shared a behind-the-scenes look at the making of her juggernaut hit “Lift Me Up,” which appeared on the soundtrack to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
“Lift Me Up” was written by Rihanna, Tems, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Göransson as a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who died in 2020 after a private four-year battle with prostate cancer.
In a recent interview, Coogler — who directed Wakanda Forever — told HipHopDX that RiRi was focused on this intention throughout the process.
“When she recorded ‘Lift Me Up,’ which was incredibly moving for me,” he said. “She said ‘I was trying to do this man and his family justice. I was trying to make something worthy of what he gave to us.’ So I take no credit in that. We was all just playing a role.”
In the latest behind-the-scenes look, it becomes clear just how focused RiRi was in the studio. The clip shows the Savage X Fenty mogul sat behind the mixing board in the studio, unveiling the song to her fellow collaborators on FaceTime.
As Ludwig showers her in praise, the “Diamonds” hitmaker appears gracious as she thanks him while referring to the song as “fantastic” and a “great job.”
The latest clip comes as Rihanna gears up to return to the stage for the Super Bowl LVII halftime show in Glendale, Arizona next month. The performance will serve as the Bajan billionaire’s first stage appearance since the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, where she ran through a career-spanning medley of hits to coincide with her receiving the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
While details surrounding the performance remain scarce, JAY-Z is reportedly helping RiRi with the show, though it’s unclear if Hov will take the stage as a special guest. Rihanna did confirm in November that she’s working on a “special” project to coincide with the Big Game, although she implied it wouldn’t be a new album.
Last week, Rihanna added to the hype by dropping a limited edition Savage X Fenty football-themed “Game Day” collection, which boasts 17 different pieces including hoodies, sweatpants, varsity jerseys, tops, hats, beanies, boxers and a bandana.
The Grammy-winner also released a teaser for the halftime performance with Apple Music earlier this month, which hints at the end of her musical hiatus that’s reached over 2,000 days since her 2016 ANTI album.
As for “Lift Me Up,” the track is tipped to be a contender for an Oscar nomination this year. Coogler previously told HipHopDX that Rihanna’s recent journey into motherhood made her the perfect choice to do the song, and that he feels it encapsulates the film.
“It felt right for us because motherhood is a massive theme in this movie,” Coogler said. “And that was kind of timing up for her. In a similar way, when we were finishing the first film, Kendrick was kind of inheriting this crown. What was the chances of us making this movie and Rihanna becoming a mom?”