The Light (Common song)

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"The Light"
The Light (Common song).jpg
Single by Common
from the album Like Water for Chocolate
Released July 18, 2000
Format 12-inch single, CD, Vinyl
Genre Hip hop
Length 4:21
Label MCA Records
Songwriter(s) Lonnie Lynn, James Yancey, Bobby Caldwell, Norman Harris, Bruce Malament
Producer(s) Jay Dee
Common singles chronology
"The 6th Sense"
"The Light"
"Geto Heaven Remix T.S.O.I. (The Sound of Illadelph)"
"The 6th Sense"
"The Light"
"Geto Heaven Remix T.S.O.I. (The Sound of Illadelph)"

"The Light" is the Grammy-nominated second single from Common's 2000 album Like Water for Chocolate. It was produced by Jay Dee and features keyboards performed by James Poyser. It samples "Open Your Eyes" as performed by Bobby Caldwell and the drums from "You're Gettin' a Little Too Smart" by The Detroit Emeralds. Framed as a love letter, it is a confession of Common's love for a woman - specifically, his girlfriend at the time, Erykah Badu (in 2012, Common acknowledged via a video for the website RapGenius that the song was about her[1]). Cynthia Fuchs of PopMatters describes it as a "charming, tender, and undeniably soulful declaration of affection and respect."[2] A music video directed by Nzingha Stewart features Common, Erykah Badu and "recognizable sensual delights" including "a homemade Minnie Ripperton cassette, a mango, a pink lava lamp [and] a deeply green water-beaded leaf."[2]

The song was listed at #268 on Pitchfork Media's "Top 500 songs of the 2000s".



After the release of Like Water for Chocolate, the song almost immediately attained the status of one of hip hop's few "precious" love songs and women's anthems.[2] It also reached Common's best chart positions: #44 on The Billboard Hot 100, #21 on the Rhythmic Top 40 chart and #12 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. Additionally, it reached #13 on the Hot Rap Singles chart, a feat that Common had previously surpassed. Allmusic writer Steve Huey says that "The Light" as well as "The 6th Sense" are "quintessential Common, uplifting and thoughtful [songs that] helped bring him a whole new audience."[3]

The song received a 2001 Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance.

Alternate versions[edit]

Track listing[edit]

"The Light" US version released on July 18, 2000

US version[edit]


  1. "The Light (Album Version)" (4:02)
  2. "The Light (Instrumental)" (4:07)
  3. "The Light (Acappella)" (3:42)


  1. "Funky for You (Album Version)" (4:28)
  2. "Funky for You (Instrumental)" (4:26)
  3. "Funky for You (Radio Edit)" (4:28)


"The Light" import released on March 3, 2000


  1. "The Light (Album Version)"


  1. "The 6th Sense (Something U Feel) (Album Version)"
  2. "The Light (Instrumental)"


"The Light" remix released on October 31, 2000


  1. "The Light (Remix) (Radio)" (4:01)
  2. "The Light (Remix) (Main)" (6:03)


  1. "The Light (Remix) (Instrumental)" (5:49)
  2. "The Light (Remix) (Acapella)" (5:56)

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 44
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs 12
U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Singles 13
UK Singles Chart 56


  1. ^ "Common - The Light lyrics Rapgenius". RapGenius. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Fuchs, Cynthia. "Common: The Light - PopMatters Music Video Review". Retrieved April 27, 2007. 
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Like Water for Chocolate Review at Allmusic". Retrieved April 27, 2007. 

External links[edit]