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  • Jamison Costolnick

Rihanna's Return

‘We need light, we need love” sings Rihanna in tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman

Her first release since, “ANTI” the eighth studio album from Rihanna, “Lift Me Up” beautifully articulates keeping contact with the legacy and spirit of those we have lost. Written for the Movie Soundtrack of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the song expresses the sentiment on the screen while also paying tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa/Black Panther, and whom we tragically lost in 2020 to colon cancer.

“Drowning in an endless sea, Take some time and stay with me” sings Rihanna. Audiences everywhere are more than appreciative of Boseman and his dedication to the screen. Keeping his condition private and acting throughout his diagnosis, he delivered beautiful gifts and crafted a legacy that will never be forgotten. Within the endless sea of the Marvel Universe, communities everywhere will continue to spread his contributions to the storyline, and his personal story, as Black Panther, the brand he created, lives on.

With tributes such as this track throughout the Marvel Universe and Black Panther story, Boseman will never truly be lost. Singing, “Lift me up, Hold me down, Keep me close, Safe and sound” Rihanna stresses the support that is needed during grief, especially in a community that was so invested in the connection fostered with such an influential individual character and personality. Reconnecting with everything left behind, carrying on the spirit of those we lost is a very vulnerable, yet strong thing to do.

Rihanna concludes her emotion-filled letter singing, “We need light, we need love.”

A testament to all the loss and darkness in life, listeners are moved to remember, and look above the dark clouds to all the light and love that is still alive. Whether it be through a story, a legacy, or movie, one is not truly lost once they’ve connected with the world around them. We just have to look a little higher.


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