The Wakanda Forever Magic that Got Rihanna Back in the Studio After 6 Years

Wakanda Forever's director, Ryan Coogler, shares what got the legendary artist, fashion mogul, and icon, Rhianna, back into the studios after six years.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Rhianna Lift Me Up

Wakanda Forever’s director, Ryan Coogler, shares what got the legendary artist, fashion mogul, and icon, Rihanna, back into the studios after six years.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is releasing in theaters soon and the cast and creators are in full promotion mode. The film has been met with a lot of praise by the lucky few who have seen it, and its impact only continues to grow as the press tour continues. New clips and trailers are dropping daily, teasing the film more and more. And while official reviews are still embargoed, the film is fully trending on every social media platform. On top of the film and its early acclaim, it also boasts a new single from Rihanna, her first solo music in over 6 years! Take a listen to it below.

Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up”

This video of the song already has over 3.6 million views. Rihanna is a multiple award-winning artist, a fashion mogul, an actress, and an ambassador of Barbados, to name a few things. Her fans have wanted new music for a while, but understand that she is busy making a huge impact around the world and in multiple industries. So how did she end up performing the already hit single for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Ryan Coogler tells us how it all worked out.

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Coogler Shares What Got Rihanna Back into the Studio

I can’t take sole credit for that. We got an incredible composer Ludwig Göransson whos’ also our music producer. He’s got a great reputation. He made “This is America” with Childish Gambino. I think Ludwig was a major factor. Big thanks to Jay Brown, Roc Nation, and Jay-Z, who’s a friend, who help make the connection.

Rihanna has given us a whole career and a whole catalogue of music. Now she’s giving us make up and clothing and I think the world would understand if she hung up her mic. I completely understand, I love her music, and I think she’s given all that we can ask for.

But the truth is, we were looking for a great artist who could tell the story of the film and embrace the themes of the film and present them to the audience in different packaging. That’s what Kendrick [Lamar] did for us so beautifully with the first film. And this film is different. It made sense it would be a woman. It made sense that it could someone who could speak to, not necessarily the words, but the feeling of motherhood because that’s a major theme of this film. And I think it timed timed up, that she’s in that kind of space in her life and she was open.

Ryan Coogler, Director of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

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It was really the trailer. When she saw everybody’s performances they were putting down in the trailer, that was what kind of put her over the edge. She was like ‘Hey, I wanna see this film. I wanna see if I can figure this out.’

We collaborated with this incredible singer, Timms. She and I wrote the words, Ludwig made the music. The music was recorded on like three different continents… some of it was recorded from the first Black Panther when Ludwig was in Senegal. It came together in a lot of different ways. I was super happy with it. And I feel super thankful. But the truth is, once she played us the record, she said ‘Straight up, I did this for Chad.’  

Ryan Coogler, Director of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Even now, Chadwick Boseman’s presence and influence are still felt and in full effect. His spirit lives on in his family, friends, and the film. So among the many things to celebrate his legacy, we can add getting Rihanna back into the studio to the list.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever releases globally exclusively in theaters on November 11, 2022. Tickets are on sale now. Rihanna’s single, “Lift Me Up” is available at the usual music spots.

About Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. © 2022 MARVEL.

Release Date: November 11, 2022
Director: Ryan Coogler
Story Writer: Ryan Coogler
Screenplay: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Producers: Kevin Feige, Nate Moore
Costume Design: Ruth Carter
Cast: Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Danai Gurira, Florence Kasumba, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Freeman, Tenoch Huerta, Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livanalli

Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda.

Were you as surprised as the rest of the world that Rihanna dropped a new single? Do you already have tickets to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? Have the trailers and promotions already revealed who is in the suit? Let us know what you think and share your theories with us on Twitter!

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Kevin Fenix

Professional Nerd | Amateur Human | Creative/Content Director The best way to describe Kevin Fenix is the kid you never tell what the buttons do in video games so you have a chance to win. Being 6’ 4” and Asian, he never really fit in, so he got comfortable standing out. Not only is it easy to find him in crowds, he dabbles in the culinary arts, does a little stand up and improv, and can honestly say Spider-Man is the Jesus-like influence of his life. Kevin Fenix loves dogs, movies, television, comics, comedy, and to shoot people… with video.