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"The Light Is Coming" (stylized in all lowercase) is the third track from Ariana Grande's fourth studio album, Sweetener. It features rapper Nicki Minaj. The song was released as the album's first and only promotional single through Republic Records on June 20, 2018. A live version of the song is featured on K Bye For Now (SWT Live), which was released on December 23, 2019. Before Nicki Minaj was the chosen feature for the song, other rappers like Skepta was originally the feature on the track.

Background[]

It was first teased on December 2, 2016, when Grande posted a selfie on instagram, with the caption "stay woke don't sleep", a lyric from the song.[3] Grande confirmed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on May 1, 2018.[4]

On May 7, 2018, Grande confirmed through her Twitter that "The Light Is Coming" will be the next song released from the album[5][6]Five days later, Grande soon posted a video of her in the studio tagging Nicki Minaj on May 12, 2018.[7] Two days later, she teased some of the lyrics on Twitter.[8]

Another week later on May 20, 2018, Grande opened the 2018 Billboard Music Awards with "No Tears Left To Cry". At the end of her performance, the title "The Light Is Coming" was displayed.

On May 27, 2018, Grande shared a snippet of the song on her Instagram & Twitter accounts, which revealed that it featured rapper, Nicki Minaj. That same day, Minaj lyrics from her verse were teased.[9] Following that same day, when Grande posted the first snippet, both rapper Drake & Nicki Minaj commented on her post, possibly hinting a collab.[10] Two days later on May 29, 2018, Grande posted a Instagram clip of her rehearsing the song.[11] She posted "🌩️♡💡" emoji teasers on June 7, 2018.[12]

The song is about relying on positivity to get you through hard times. Before its official release on June 20th, 2018, Ariana previewed it during her performance at Wango Tango on June 2, 2018.[13]

In Grande's interview with The FADER, Grande revealed that she auditioned nine different rappers for the song before turning to Nicki Minaj.[2] In an interview with British Vogue, it was revealed that English rapper Skepta was going to be featured on Grande's album Sweetener and he was originally one of the choices for "The Light Is Coming". It is also speculated that Lil Uzi Vert, Drake, and other rappers also auditioned for a spot on the song.[14]

In an early version of the song, which leaked on January 4, 2020, Nicki Minaj had an extended 11 second verse that was later cut from the song.

The first snippet of Skepta's demo leaked on July 2, 2022, on a website used for selling unreleased music. The demo version featuring Skepta was leaked on March 1, 2023. The demo has a slight difference in the lyrics and in the instrumental.

Audios[]

Music video[]

The official music video was filmed on May 25, 2018.[15] On June 4, 2018, Grande confirmed on Twitter that the music video for the song had already been shot.[16]

A 5-second-snippet was posted by Grande on her social media accounts on June 19, 2018.[17][18]

It was premiered exclusively on Reebok's website on June 20, 2018.[19][20] The music video was directed by Dave Meyers who also worked with Grande on her other music videos for "No Tears Left To Cry", "God is a woman" and "Positions".[21]

Live performances[]

Grande debuted a snippet of the song on June 2, 2018, at Wango Tango. It was a regular part of the setlist of Grande's Sweetener World Tour, which began on March 18, 2019.

Trivia[]

  • The song is Grande's fifth collaboration with Minaj, after "Bang Bang" (My Everything, 2014), "Get on Your Knees" (The Pinkprint, 2014), "Side to Side" (Dangerous Woman, 2016) and "Bed" (Queen, 2018).
  • The line "you wouldn't let anybody speak and instead" is a sample from a CNN clip of a man shouting at a senator from a Town Hall in 2009.[22] On June 25, 2018, Grande said that the reason of putting that line is "About people and their loud ass opinions making them deaf to others, and the light."[23]
  • On episode one of the "Dangerous Woman Diaries" the documentary feature an look and behind-the-scenes clips from the music video.
  • Ariana’s collaboration with Reebok was promoted in the music video, and the video was even a Reebok.com exclusive for its first 24 hours.
    • This is also similar to how Grande's campaign with Guess was promoted in the video for "Side To Side."
  • There is a rumored demo of this song with Drake and Nicki Minaj. There’s also rumored demos of rapper Quavo and Lil Uzi Vert as well. However, those songs are yet to surface or be confirmed to have ever existed.

Gallery[]

Photoshoot[]

Behind the scenes[]

Lyrics[]

[Intro]
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)

[Verse 1: Nicki Minaj]
Ayo, trophy wife, out, you won me
Until you had to find out it's one me
No-no-now you benched, aww, your bum knee
Now I'm the bad guy, call me Chun-Li (Ooh)
'Cause you was slippin', yep, you clumsy
And everything I peeped, can't just unsee
Sips tea, and it's unsweet
Re-respect bad gyal when mi done speak (Now, now)
Now he shooting his shot like drive-by
Why-why-why you had to make me go call up my side guy?
Ca-ca-can't let a f-boy eff up my nice vibes
Yo, Ariana, come let me give you a high five

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)

[Verse 2: Ariana Grande]
"What did she say?," "What did he say?"
You don't listen 'cause you know everything
You don't even need dreams
Tellin' everybody, "Stay woke, don't sleep"

[Refrain: Ariana Grande]
Ah, gonna break that shit down
You don't wait, tell 'em wait another round
Ah, guess you're way above it now
And that's your way to love it now

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
How can they tell you shit that you've been through?
They are so confused, who cares about their rationale?
If it ain't your view
That's the bottom line
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)
Give you a box of chances, every time you blow it all (Blow it all)
As if it were shade, you would just throw it all (Throw it all)
It's like you're trying not to glow at all (Glow at all)
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)

[Verse 3: Ariana Grande]
Why do we have chemistry? (Ayy, yeah)
With a need for speed (Ayy, yeah)
Doin' things that trouble clings (Ayy, yeah) to
And burns off our wings

[Refrain: Ariana Grande]
Ah, gonna break that shit down (Ayy, yeah)
You don't wait, tell 'em wait another round (Ayy, yeah)
Ah, guess you're way above it now (Ayy, yeah)
And that's your way to love it now

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
How can they tell you shit that you've been through?
They are so confused, who cares about their rationale?
If it ain't your view
That's the bottom line
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)
Give you a box of chances, every time you blow it all (Blow it all)
As if it were shade, you would just throw it all (Throw it all)
It's like you're trying not to glow at all (Glow at all)
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and inst—)

[Intro]
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)

[Verse 1: Skepta]
Ayy, why you talkin' like you gettin' paid?
Talkin’ like you got the juice
Talkin' like you got the cherry aid
Talkin' like you're self made
Talkin' like you're ready for the beef
Talkin' like a fuckin' renegade
Talkin’ like you’re five star
Talkin' like you’re Bruce Willis
Talkin' like you really wanna die hard
Talkin' like you're from the ends
Talkin’ like a waste man
Talkin' like you'rе forgettin' where I'm from again
Talkin' likе a wanna be
Talkin' like a man I never text back
Like a man I never wanna see
Talkin' like you can't hear
Talkin' like I ain't the king
Talkin' like I never shut it down last year

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)

[Verse 1: Ariana Grande]
"What did she say?", "What did he say?"
You don't listen, 'cause you know everything
You don't even need dreams
Tellin' everybody, "Stay woke, don't sleep"

[Refrain: Ariana Grande]
Ah, gonna break that shit down
You don't wait, tell 'em wait another round
Ah, guess you're way above it now
And that's your way to love it now

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
How can they tell you, shit that you've been through?
They are so confused, who cares about their rationale?
If it ain't your view
That's the bottom line
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)
Give you a box of chances, every time you blow it all (Blow it all)
As if it were shade, you would just throw it all (Throw it all)
Tell your heartbeat, we're not good at all (Good at all)
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)

[Verse 3: Ariana Grande]
Why do we have chemistry? (Ayy, yeah)
With a need for speed (Ayy, yeah)
Doin' things that trouble clings (Ayy, yeah) to
And burns off our wings

[Refrain: Ariana Grande]
Ah, gonna break that shit down (Ayy, yeah)
You don't wait, tell 'em wait another round (Ayy, yeah)
Ah, guess you're way above it now (Ayy, yeah)
And that's your way to love it now

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
How can they tell you, shit that you've been through?
They are so confused, who cares about their rationale?
If it ain't your view
That's the bottom line
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)
Give you a box of chances, every time you blow it all (Blow it all)
As if it were shade, you would just throw it all (Throw it all)
Tell your heartbeat, we're not good at all (Good at all)
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak for this instead—)

[Intro: Nicki Minaj]
Yo, I was the baddest bitch that you ever had
Edition Limited, the Barbie is never mad
I was the baddest bitch that you ever had
My sons, get your dad, 'cause he gon' suffer bad

[Verse 1: Nicki Minaj]
Ayo, trophy wife, out, you won me
Until you had to find out it's one me
No-no-now you benched, aww, your bum knee
Now I'm the bad guy, call me Chun-Li (Ooh)
'Cause you was slippin', yep, you clumsy
And everything I peeped, can't just unsee
Sips tea, and it's unsweet
Re-respect bad gyal when mi done speak (Now, now)
Now he shooting his shot like drive-by
Why-why-why you had to make me go call up my side guy?
Ca-ca-can't let a f-boy eff up my nice vibes
Yo, Ariana, come let me give you a high five

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)

[Verse 2: Ariana Grande]
"What did she say?," "What did he say?"
You don't listen 'cause you know everything
You don't even need dreams
Tellin' everybody, "Stay woke, don't sleep"

[Refrain: Ariana Grande]
Ah, gonna break that shit down
You don't wait, tell 'em wait another round
Ah, guess you're way above it now
And that's your way to love it now

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
How can they tell you shit that you've been through?
They are so confused, who cares about their rationale?
If it ain't your view
That's the bottom line
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)
Give you a box of chances, every time you blow it all (Blow it all)
As if it were shade, you would just throw it all (Throw it all)
It's like you're trying not to glow at all (Glow at all)
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)

[Verse 3: Ariana Grande]
Why do we have chemistry? (Ayy, yeah)
With a need for speed (Ayy, yeah)
Doin' things that trouble clings (Ayy, yeah) to
And burns off our wings

[Refrain: Ariana Grande]
Ah, gonna break that shit down (Ayy, yeah)
You don't wait, tell 'em wait another round (Ayy, yeah)
Ah, guess you're way above it now (Ayy, yeah)
And that's your way to love it now

[Pre-Chorus: Ariana Grande]
How can they tell you shit that you've been through?
They are so confused, who cares about their rationale?
If it ain't your view
That's the bottom line
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)
Give you a box of chances, every time you blow it all (Blow it all)
As if it were shade, you would just throw it all (Throw it all)
It's like you're trying not to glow at all (Glow at all)
Know-it-all (Know-it-all)

[Chorus: Ariana Grande]
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole, stole, st-st-stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and instead—)
The light is coming to give back everything the darkness stole
(You wouldn't let anybody speak and inst—)

Videos[]

References[]

  1. Clash Music -"Ariana Grande links with Nicki Minaj on The Light Is Coming"
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Fader - Ariana Grande
  3. Twitter (Instagram) - 'stay woke don't sleep ☕️🌙⚡️♡' & '♡' (December 2, 2016) (Archived)
  4. Ariana Grande Reveals Title of Fourth Album: 'Sweetener'
  5. Twitter - @MusicNewsRumor Ariana Confirms "The Light Is Coming" Is The Next Single
  6. Twitter - Ariana Grande - "the light is comin" "i promise 💡"
  7. Instagram Story - Ariana Grande - Grande Tags @NickiMinaj while in the studio
  8. Pinterest (Twitter #2) - Ariana Teased More Lyrics "the light is cominnn to give back everything the darkness stole" May 14, 2018
  9. Instagram - Ariana Posted A Snippet Of Her Lip Syncing and Teasing Nicki Minaj's Verse on May 27, 2018 (Archived)
  10. CapitalFM (Instagram) - Rapper’s Drake and Nicki Minaj Comment On Grande's Post Potentially Teasing A Collaboration "🤷🏽‍♂️💡💙" "🤫😘"
  11. Twitter - 'The Light is Coming' snippet #2
  12. Instagram - Ariana Grande Posts "🌩️♡💡"
  13. Twitter - Ariana Performing Part Of "The Light Is Coming"
  14. Twitter - Ariana Grande confirmed with a like that there are only 3 collaborations on #Sweetener. Could her collaboration with Skepta and Dua Lipa be part of a separate project?
  15. Instagram - @arianagrande: "taken in between intense, deep sobs of fear / laughter bc we were sitting in the eight billion insect nests. It’s a long story. tell u later s." (Archived)
  16. Twitter - @popcrave: "Ariana Grande reveals that the music video for "The Light Is Coming" feat. Nicki Minaj has already been shot."
  17. Twitter - Ariana Grande - hello twenty four hours until you can preorder sweetener and hear / see ‘the light is coming’ 🌫☁️💡🍦🌬☁️🌩⚡️🌩🥂☁️♡ 🌪☁️
  18. Instagram - @hastagarig: "Ariana posted these 5 years ago today (20th June 2018)..."
  19. Twitter - Ariana confirming the release of the music video
  20. Reebok - tlic
  21. Bless, There's a New Ariana Grande Video, and it's BEAUTIFUL
  22. Who Is The Man Sampled On Ariana Grande’s ‘The Light Is Coming’?
  23. Twitter - Ariana About The Sample In The Song June 25, 2018

Navigation[]

Sweetener
August 17, 2018 • 47:25 • Republic Records
Songs
Released Better OffBlazedBorderlineBreathinEverytimeGet Well SoonGod Is A WomanGoodnight N GoNo Tears Left To CryPete DavidsonRaindrops (An Angel Cried)R.E.M.SuccessfulSweetenerThe Light Is Coming
Unreleased 100Bad To YouClarityCloudsCocoonDaydream On OccasionEnd Up With YouEver BeenGot Her OwnHate That You Made Me Love YouI Don't Wanna LieI Love MeKeep It CuteMan Of SteelMoreMy WayNobodyOk NowOn Top Of EverythingPretty Girls Like Trap MusicRush DeliverySexShnackSoberSouth AfricaStrong EnoughSweetener FlourishTreadmillWifeeYou
Artists
Ariana GrandeAli TamposiBiaBeyoncéChaka KhanDua LipaCamila CabelloCharlie PuthImogen HeapJennifer HudsonKelly RowlandLucky DayeMissy ElliottN.E.R.D.Nicki MinajNormaniPharrell WilliamsQuavoRita OraSkeptaStarrahSZAT-PainVictoria Monét
Tour
Sweetener World TourThe Sweetener Sessions
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