"It Was a Good Day" (originally known as "Today Was a Good Day") is a song by American gangsta rapperIce 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?’
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 music video was directed by F. Gary Gray and was first aired during March 1993.
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.