The Light Is Coming

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"The Light Is Coming"
The Light Is Coming cover art.png
Promotional single by Ariana Grande featuring Nicki Minaj
from the album Sweetener
ReleasedJune 20, 2018 (2018-06-20)
Format Digital download
RecordedFebruary 2017
Label Republic
Producer(s) Pharrell Williams
Music video
"The Light Is Coming" on YouTube

"The Light Is Coming" (stylized in all lowercase) is a song by American singer Ariana Grande, featuring American rapper Nicki Minaj. Both artists co-wrote the song with its producer Pharrell Williams. It was released on June 20, 2018, as the first promotional single from Grande's fourth studio album, Sweetener . [1] The track debuted at number 95 and peaked at number 89 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Ariana Grande American singer, songwriter and actress

Ariana Grande-Butera is an American singer, songwriter and actress. After starring in the 2008 Broadway musical 13, she rose to prominence for her portrayal of Cat Valentine on the Nickelodeon television series Victorious (2010–13), and its spinoff Sam & Cat (2013–14). Grande made her first musical appearance on the soundtrack for Victorious and was signed to Republic Records in 2011 after music executive Monte Lipman came across one of her YouTube videos covering songs.

Nicki Minaj Trinidadian-born American singer, rapper and actress

Onika Tanya Maraj, known professionally as Nicki Minaj, is a Trinidadian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and model. Born in Saint James, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Queens, New York City, she gained public recognition after releasing the mixtapes Playtime Is Over (2007), Sucka Free (2008), and Beam Me Up Scotty (2009).

Pharrell Williams American singer, rapper and record producer from Virginia

Pharrell Lanscilo Williams is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, and fashion designer. Williams and Chad Hugo comprise the record production duo The Neptunes, producing hip hop and R&B music. He is the lead vocalist of the band N*E*R*D, that he formed with Hugo and childhood friend, Shay Haley. He released his first solo single, "Frontin'", in 2003 and followed up with his debut solo album, In My Mind, in 2006. His second album, Girl, was released in March 2014 and included the commercially successful single, "Happy". As part of the Neptunes, Williams has produced numerous singles for various recording artists.



On May 27, 2018, Ariana Grande teased "The Light Is Coming" with a 21 second clip on her Instagram page. [2] On June 2, she debuted a preview of the song at Wango Tango, announcing that the song would be released on June 20, 2018, along with the pre-order of Sweetener. [3]

Composition and lyrics

The song runs for three minutes and forty-eight seconds. [4] It has influences of R&B and hip hop. [5] The sound is backed by Grande's vocals, singing, "The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole". The song contains a "jittery beat" that is used with quick drums and synths. [6] [7] The song samples a CNN archive clip of a man named Craig Miller who is shouting at former senator Arlen Specter at a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania in 2009 concerning healthcare ("You wouldn't let anybody speak for this and instead!"). [8] [9]

Contemporary R&B is a music genre that combines elements of rhythm and blues, pop, soul, funk, hip hop and electronic music.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the late 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.

Drum type of musical instrument of the percussion family

The drum is a member of the percussion group of musical instruments. In the Hornbostel-Sachs classification system, it is a membranophone. Drums consist of at least one membrane, called a drumhead or drum skin, that is stretched over a shell and struck, either directly with the player's hands, or with a percussion mallet, to produce sound. There is usually a resonance head on the underside of the drum, typically tuned to a slightly lower pitch than the top drumhead. Other techniques have been used to cause drums to make sound, such as the thumb roll. Drums are the world's oldest and most ubiquitous musical instruments, and the basic design has remained virtually unchanged for thousands of years.

Critical reception

"The Light Is Coming" received lukewarm reviews from music critics. [10] Mike Nied of Idolator described it as "a serious dance floor filler", writing: "The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole," [Grande] chants over militaristic drums and slippery synths. Her voice is confident and sounds perfectly at home as it races over the searing production, courtesy of Pharrell. All things considered, it sounds like the pop princess has another hit on her hands." [11] In the album review, however, Neid called it "a particularly glaring misstep." [12] Spin editor Israel Daramola described the song as a "glitchy, thumping" dance record with a sample that highlights Grande's "nursery rhyme-style melody" during the repeated chorus and her voice "is alive with feeling and thrives in the quirks and constant vibrancy of the music." He also praised Minaj for delivering a "strutting, paint-by-numbers verse in the time allotted" that is "perfectly suited to the heavy, ground shaking bass of the song". [13] Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone considered it a "weak spot" in the parent album. [14]

Idolator is a music blog. Created by the blog network Gawker Media in August 2006, Idolator was later sold to rival blog network Buzz Media, which also owns Stereogum and Spin. In September 2016, the website was sold to Hive Media along with Buzznet and PureVolume.

<i>Spin</i> (magazine) American music magazine

Spin is an American music magazine founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. The magazine stopped running in print in 2012 and currently runs as a webzine, owned by the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group division of Valence Media.

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

Commercial performance

"The Light Is Coming" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 95 selling 14,000 copies in its first week, allowing it to also debut on the Digital Songs chart at number 22. [15] The song fell off the Hot 100 the following week; however, it later re-entered at a new peak of number 89 following the release of Sweetener. [16]

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

The Digital Songs chart ranks the best-selling digital songs in the United States, as compiled by Nielsen SoundScan and published by Billboard. It debuted in the issue dated January 22, 2005, and merged all versions of a song sold from digital music distributors. Its data was incorporated in the Hot 100 three weeks later. Since October 2004, digital sales have been incorporated into many of Billboard's music singles charts. The decision was based on the dramatic increase of the digital market while commercial single sales in a physical format were becoming negligible.

Worldwide, the song debuted in the top-forty in Hungary and Scotland, peaking at numbers 24 and 22 respectively, while charting within the top 100 in six other territories including the United Kingdom, where it reached number 57 on the UK Singles Chart. It also peaked at number 63 on the Canadian Hot 100.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

The Canadian Hot 100 is a music industry record chart in Canada for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. The Canadian Hot 100 was launched on the issue dated March 31, 2007, and is currently the standard record chart in Canada; a new chart is compiled and officially released to the public by Billboard every Tuesday.

Music video

Despite the song not being released as an official single, the music video for the song first premiered twelve hours after the song's release, via the Reebok official website. [17] It was directed by Dave Meyers, who had also directed the music video for Grande's "No Tears Left to Cry", and features Nicki Minaj performing her verse and Ariana Grande singing in a dimly-lit forest. The video was released worldwide on YouTube and Vevo the next day.

Live performances

Grande performed a preview of the song at Wango Tango on June 2, 2018 and is on the set list of her Sweetener World Tour. [3]

Credits and personnel

Recording and management


Credits adapted from the liner notes of Sweetener. [18]


Chart (2018)Peak
Australia (ARIA) [19] 60
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) [20] 63
France (SNEP) [21] 70
Greece Digital Songs ( Billboard ) [22] 2
Hungary (Single Top 40) [23] 24
Ireland (IRMA) [24] 76
Netherlands (Single Top 100) [25] 81
New Zealand Heatseekers (Recorded Music NZ) [26] 2
Scotland (Official Charts Company) [27] 22
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) [28] 57
US Billboard Hot 100 [29] 89

Release history

WorldwideJune 20, 2018 Republic [30]

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