The Light (Common song)
|Single by Common|
|from the album Like Water for Chocolate|
|Released||July 18, 2000|
|Format||12-inch single, CD, Vinyl|
|Writer(s)||Lonnie Lynn, James Yancey, Bobby Caldwell, Norman Harris, Bruce Malament|
|Common singles chronology|
"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). Cynthia Fuchs of PopMatters describes it as a "charming, tender, and undeniably soulful declaration of affection and respect." 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."
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. 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."
- A live seven-minute version featuring vocals by Erykah Badu and Bilal, scratching by DJ Dummy, keyboards by James Poyser and Omar Edwards, bass guitar by Adam Blackstone, drums by Questlove, guitar by Kevin Hanson and percussion by Frank "Knuckles" Walker is featured on Dave Chappelle's Block Party 2006 soundtrack.
- A remix featuring vocals by Erykah Badu was released by Motown Records as a single in 2000 for the Bamboozled soundtrack.
- The original version is featured on compilations such as 2000's The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 4, 2001's Grammy R&B/Rap Nominees 2001, 2001's Pure R&B, Vol. 2, 2001's Wrap It Up, 2004's The Hip Hop Box and 2006's Hip Hop: Gold.
- "The Light '08 (It's Love)", a remake made by Common and producer Just Blaze, featuring Marsha Ambrosius, was released in 2008 for a Smirnoff advertising campaign.
- "The Light (Album Version)" (4:02)
- "The Light (Instrumental)" (4:07)
- "The Light (Acappella)" (3:42)
- "Funky for You (Album Version)" (4:28)
- "Funky for You (Instrumental)" (4:26)
- "Funky for You (Radio Edit)" (4:28)
- "The Light (Album Version)"
- "The 6th Sense (Something U Feel) (Album Version)"
- "The Light (Instrumental)"
- "The Light (Remix) (Radio)" (4:01)
- "The Light (Remix) (Main)" (6:03)
- "The Light (Remix) (Instrumental)" (5:49)
- "The Light (Remix) (Acapella)" (5:56)
|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|
- "Common - The Light lyrics Rapgenius". RapGenius. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
- Fuchs, Cynthia. "Common: The Light - PopMatters Music Video Review". Retrieved April 27, 2007.
- Huey, Steve. "Like Water for Chocolate Review at Allmusic". Retrieved April 27, 2007.