It Was a Good Day
|"It Was a Good Day"|
|Single by Ice Cube|
|from the album The Predator|
|Released||February 23, 1993|
|Format||CD single & 12" single|
|Genre||West Coast hip hop, gangsta rap|
|Ice Cube singles chronology|
"It Was a Good Day" (originally known as "Today Was a Good Day") is a song by American gangsta rapper Ice Cube. It was released in February 1993 as the second single from his third solo album, The Predator. The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and on the UK Charts at number 27. It was ranked as the 81st-greatest rap song of all time by About.com and number 77 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s. In 2008, it was ranked number 28 on VH1's 100 greatest songs of hip hop.
Ice Cube originally recorded a demo of the track in his home studio and went on to record the album version in Los Angeles at Echo Sound Studios during 1992, and it was one of the first ideas for the album sessions. Ice Cube commented on the concept behind the song stating,
The inspiration was my life at the time ... I was at the top of the rap game. It was the summer of ’92 and I was in a hotel room, really in a state of euphoria. I had all the money I had dreamed of. I was in a good frame of mind. And I remember thinking, ‘Okay, there’s been the riots, people know I will deal with that. That’s a given. But I rap all this gangsta stuff – what about all the good days I had?’
Ice Cube initially went into the studio with a sample of the Isley Brothers' "Footsteps in the Dark" and DJ Pooh enhanced the production with bass and vocals. The song has been re-released multiple times, including on Ice Cube's Greatest Hits album. A remixed version, sampling "Let's Do It Again" by The Staple Singers, appeared on his Bootlegs & B-Sides as well as The N.W.A. Legacy, Vol. 1: 1988-1999.
Music and reception
This is perhaps Ice Cube's most well-known song and his most successful, due to its nature in demographic. The song's music video and the lyrics itself tell the story of how Ice Cube has a good day in South Central Los Angeles. Throughout the song he enjoys playing basketball, having sex, smoking marijuana (whether accidentally or on purpose, the song is 4:20 in length), getting drunk, going to his friend Short Dog's house to watch Yo! MTV Raps and later win at craps and bones, eating fast food at 2 AM, and cruising the streets of South Central undisturbed, free from having "to use [his] AK." He even sees the lights on the Goodyear blimp, which Ice Cube says reads "Ice Cube's a Pimp". The song samples multiple songs, including the Isley Brothers' "Footsteps in the Dark" and "Come on Sexy Mama" by The Moments.
The song received generally very positive reviews from critics. Blender magazine writer, Michael Odel, stated it contained a "chilled-out, feel-good vibe". Allmusic's Jason Birchmeier noted that even though it was The Predator 's "most laid-back moment, [It] emits a quiet sense of violent anxiety." and went on to say "It's a truly beautiful moment, a career highlight for sure." Entertainment Weekly mentioned that he rapped over a "partly melancholy, partly swaggering beat [and] glories in good luck, South Central style". Vibe magazine described DJ Pooh's beat as a "smoothed-out production". It reached number 77 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90's. It was included in About.com's Top 100 Rap Songs, at number 81. In 2008, it was ranked number 8 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. The song appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the fictional radio station Radio Los Santos.
At the end of the video, police are depicted surrounding Ice Cube's house in order to arrest him. It then states "To Be Continued", a segue to his next music video and single "Check Yo Self," which was released the following August. The shirt Cube was wearing in the video was the same one he later wore in the 1995 movie Friday (also directed by F. Gary Gray).
Deduction of the "Good Day"
Stand-up comedian Donovan Strain has deduced the exact day Ice Cube had a 'Good Day' using clues within the lyrics of the song. Strain claims that, "The ONLY day where: Yo! MTV Raps was on air, it was a clear and smogless day in Los Angeles, beepers or pagers were commercially sold, Lakers beat the SuperSonics, and Ice Cube had no filming commitments was January 20, 1992." Deadspin followed up with some fact checking corroborating the claim.
Questions remain about whether or not the Goodyear Blimp was in the air that day around Compton. According to Deadspin, "... one can see the Goodyear blimp—and perhaps its lights—from the 405, which runs through southern LA." But if the blimp was not in the air, its lights were not likely to be on.
In 2014, Ice Cube seemed to confirm the date when he agreed to support a crowdfunding campaign on the platform Tilt.com. The campaign was started by "hip-hop loving friends" who said they wanted to raise and donate $25,000 for the South Central charity "A Place Called Home" if the Goodyear Blimp would display the lyrics from the song. After Ice Cube spoke about the campaign on the Jimmy Fallon show, Goodyear quickly agreed.
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- It Was a Good Day Lyrics. MTV. Accessed May 21, 2008.
- It Was a Good Day sample search The-breaks. Accessed May 21, 2008.
- Jason Birchmeier. The Predator > Overview Allmusic. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- Greg Sandow (November 20, 1992). The Predator | Music Review Entertainment Weekly. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- Vibe 150: West Coast Vibe. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s. VH1. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- Top 100 Rap Songs. About.com. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- Ice Cube – "It Was a Good Day" mvdbase. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- Murk Avenue | Tumblr MurkAve. National Good Day Day Accessed January, 2012.
- The Internet Has Discovered The Exact Day Featured In Ice Cube’s "It Was A Good Day" DeadSpin.
- Fenske, Sarah. "Ice Cube Gets His Name on the Goodyear Blimp (For Real)". www.laweekly.com. L.A. Weekly. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- [It Was a Good Day at AllMusic Ice Cube – Billboard Singles]. Allmusic. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- UK Top 40 Hit Database. EveryHit.com. Accessed May 16, 2008. Note: User must define search parameters, i.e. "Ice Cube".
- "Ice Cube Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Ice Cube.
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- "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Retrieved August 27, 2010.
- "The Year in Music: R&B" (PDF). Billboard (BPI Communications) 105 (52): YE-29. December 25, 1993. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "The Year in Music: Rap" (PDF). Billboard (BPI Communications) 105 (52): YE-27. December 25, 1993. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
- "American single certifications – Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
- "Best-Selling Records of 1993". Billboard (BPI Communications) 106 (3): 73. January 15, 1994. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.