Black Panther was iconic for many reasons, but among its most famous features came the stellar Kendrick Lamar-produced soundtrack, which featured hits from Khalid, Travis Scott, The Weeknd, and more. Marvel Studios set forth with the goal to pay homage to black artists, and now Wakanda Forever aims to do the same.
Black Panther 2 will reportedly follow in the footsteps of the 2018 hit with another "inspired by" album, that will include two songs from Rihanna. The buzz around the soundtrack follows rumors from earlier in the year that Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Stormzy, and Solage, were all being considered for the follow-up album.
Now, just over two weeks out from the November release, Marvel Studios has delivered the first hints toward the Wakanda Forever album as the award-winning Rihanna has been confirmed to feature.
Rihanna Joins Black Panther 2 Soundtrack
Marvel released a short video to confirm pop icon Rihanna will have a song on the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. The announcement video displayed both the artist's logo and the date of Friday, October 28, indicating the original song will be dropping imminently ahead of the November 11 release.
The teaser video can be seen below:
Update: As part of a new report from Variety, new details about Rihanna's upcoming song, titled "Lift Me Up," have been revealed in addition to a first listen at the track.
Rihanna collaborated with singer-songwriter Tems, Oscar-winning composer and producer Ludwig Göransson, and director Ryan Coogler on the single, which is described as "a tribute to the life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman."
Tems spoke about the process of writing the song, saying that she "wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace:"
“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. 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.”
The first glimpse at the track can be heard below:
What Artists Will Join the Black Panther 2 Soundtrack?
Rihanna hasn't released a song of her own since her 2016 album Anti, and she hasn't even featured on another artist's release since she teamed up with PARTYNEXTDOOR in 2020. And yet, she now seems to be coming back with two songs for Black Panther 2 as Marvel Studios has corroborated the original rumor.
Now, the artist is lining up for a major comeback as she was spotted entering the studio in September, likely for her Wakanda Forever feature, and will perform at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in February 2023. Rihanna has also been continuing work on her ninth studio album but has yet to set a release date.
So, now that Rihanna has officially joined the rumored Black Panther: Wakanda Forever "inspired by" album, one can only wonder who else will follow her. Perhaps the reported inclusions of The Weeknd, Stormzy, Solage, and Doja Cat will pull through, building out a roster of major black musical talent.
Clearly, Marvel Studios and Kendrick Lamar delivered a smash hit with the original Black Panther album; the ever-popular "All the Stars" track even managed to top the charts. The studio will likely be eager to replicate that success for Wakanda Forever as a popular soundtrack has the potential to help bolster the box office.
Lamar unfortunately appears to be absent from the Wakanda Forever soundtrack after he both produced and appeared on the 2018 album. This may be due to his commitments to his long-awaited album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, that released in May and has now begun touring with.
Although Rihanna's Black Panther 2 song has set its release date for Friday, October 28, that doesn't mean the whole album can be expected on the same day. Perhaps only the debut single will arrive on the date while the album comes the following week, just one week before release, as was the case with the 2018 flick.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever hits theaters on Friday, November 11.