“Born Again” by Rihanna
It wouldn’t necessarily be a spoiler alert to let it be known that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever commences with the death of the titular hero. That plotline wasn’t the original plan. However, it became a necessity when the actor who portrayed said character, Chadwick Boseman, unexpectedly passed away.
So according to some analysis, what the lyrics of “Born Again” are meant to represent is the resiliency of the people of Wakanda. According to these analysts, the lyrics focus on Wakanda’s determination to push forward despite now being devoid of their king. Actually this is kinda what, at this point, the continuation of the series represents in and of itself.
But that said, the actual lyrics of “Born Again” don’t really go there. The titular term is of course best known for being associated with a religious/Christian concept. Furthermore, there is also mention of “angels” in the first verse. But by the time all is said and done, this song does not appear spiritual in nature either.
Indeed, initially trying to ascertain what exactly Rihanna is getting at takes a bit of imagination on the part of the listener. It could be, as inferred by the Black Panther connection, that the addressee is deceased.
However, the lyrics in their entirety, by the time all is said and done, don’t read like that. They rather read as if this person is very much alive. And most honestly interpreted, the way they conclude also gives the impression that the addressee is a romantic interest.
Highly Metaphorical Lyrics
To be honest, this piece is painfully-metaphorical. But that being noted, we can safely say that the lyrics revolve around the vocalist being heartbroken. And what she is expressing is an undeterrable desire to reunite with the addressee.
Earlier on, it can be interpreted that there’s some type of third-party obstacle in their way, not that Rihanna is inclined to become discouraged either way. But the closing passage, which is the bridge in this case, sounds more as if it is the addressee who is refusing to have her around.
So perhaps we can close by saying that the manner in which all of this is connected to Black Panther is a matter of respective listener perspective.
Or put another way, if this song wasn’t part of the movie’s soundtrack, it would be easier for us to just simply say that it is one of romantic heartbreak, i.e. in tune with Rihanna’s established catalog as opposed to a superhero movie set in Africa. So maybe the goal isn’t for it to connect to the movie’s storyline as much as it is to set Rihanna up for a comeback.
Release of “Born Again”
This is the final song on the playlist of the soundtrack to the second installment in the Black Panther movie series. The album is officially titled “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Music From and Inspired By)”.
Rihanna actually contributed two songs to the project, with the other being “Lift Me Up“, its lead single – despite appearing as if she gave up on her music career during the last couple of years.
This song reportedly graces the closing credits of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It was officially released on the same day as the film, 11 November 2022. The label behind the track is the Universal Music Group.
Did Rihanna write “Born Again”?
Yes. Rihanna is a credited writer.
On the other hand, the credited producers of this track are:
- The-Dream (US)
- Anthony Baldino
- Ludwig Göransson (Sweden)
All three producers also get songwriting credit alongside the following:
- Rihanna (Barbados)
- Tems (Nigeria)
- James Fauntleroy (US)
It should be noted that Tems also co-wrote “Lift Me Up”.
Prior to “Lift Me Up”, which came out a week before “Born Again”, Rihanna, one of the most-successful musicians of the early 21st century, only dropped one other single during the 2020s, “Believe It“. That song was a collaboration with PartyNextDoor, which came out around the start of the decade.
Prior to that, her most recent singles date back to 2017. So it is not clear if this marks a full-fledged musical return on the part of Ri-Ri, not that she would seemingly need to, since she is experiencing major success in the fashion industry. For instance, her “Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 4” appears to have been a very successful.