Here’s What Rihanna’s First Song In Six Years “Lift Me Up” Means

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Rihanna's "Lift Me Up" Lyrics ExplainedGilbert Flores - Getty Images

After six looonngg years, the Rihanna Navy can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief. The singer-turned-beauty mogul released "Lift Me Up," her first solo musical effort since 2016's Anti. The heartfelt single is a beautiful tribute to former Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman and is featured on the soundtrack for the film's highly-anticipated sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Boseman, the star and superhero of the hit film franchise, died from colon cancer in August 2020. The Black Panther franchise is known for its breakout soundtracks. The original film's soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award and a Grammy nomination for the lead single, "All The Stars," featuring Kendrick Lamar and SZA.

Black Panther director and "Lift Me Up" co-writer Ryan Coogler opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the decision to make the song the soundtrack's main single. According to Coogler, he was "looking for artists who would embody it thematically," and Rihanna proved to be just that. "Rihanna, man, we knew she was at a point in her life as well where she was focusing on different things — focused on business, motherhood, which is a big theme in our film," the director said. "We were holding out hope that maybe it could work out, and boy, did it for this song," he continued. "I can’t wait for people to hear it."

"Lift Me Up" is a touching song that explores loss and grief. Song co-writer Tems revealed to Complex what inspired the single. "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," the "Free Mind" singer explained. "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."

Ludwig Göransson and Rihanna are also listed as co-writers for "Lift Me Up."

If you're wondering what the new single is all about, read ahead for a breakdown of "Lift Me Up" lyrics.

Lyrics provided by Genius.

[Chorus]
Lift me up
Hold me down
Keep me close
Safe and sound

[Verse 1]
Burning in a hopeless dream
Hold me when you go to sleep
Keep me in the warmth of your love
When you depart, keep me safe
Safe and sound

Rihanna uses the first verse to ask for the loved ones that she's lost to provide her comfort and protection in their absence.

[Verse 2]
Drowning in an endless sea
Take some time and stay with me
Keep me in the strength of your arms
Keep me safe
Safe and sound

The second verse explores the loneliness of losing someone you love. Rihanna continues to ask her loved one for strength and guidance.

[Chorus]
Lift me up
Hold me down
Keep me safe
Safe and sound

[Verse 3]
Burning in a hopeless dream
Hold me when you go to sleep
Keep me safe
We need light, we need love

Rihanna reinforces the need for love, support, protection, and guidance in the wake of loss.

[Chorus]
(Lift me up) Lift me up in your arms
(Hold me down) I need love, I need love, I need love
(Keep me close) Hold me, hold me
(Safe and sound) Hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me
(Lift me up) Hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me
(Hold me down) Hold me, hold me
(Keep me safe) We need light, we need love

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