It Was a Good Day
|"It Was a Good Day"|
|Single by Ice Cube|
|from the album The Predator|
|Released||February 23, 1993|
|Ice Cube singles chronology|
"It Was a Good Day" (aka "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 did two wedding remixes of the song with Jason Derulo in 2011 and Bruno Mars in 2014. Both were featured on Ice Cube's Greatest Hits Expanded Edition Album.
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: 1988–1998.
Music and reception
The song (and the music video) 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 coincidentally 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 he says reads "Ice Cube's a Pimp". The song samples multiple songs, including the Isley Brothers' "Footsteps in the Dark" and "Sexy Mama" by The Moments.
The song was universally acclaimed by 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.
In contrast to the success and popularity of "It Was a Good Day", the sampled song which contributed to its fame did not receive such popularity. "Footsteps in the Dark" was released as the B-side to "Groove with You", which did not chart on either the pop or the R&B singles charts.
Date of the "Good Day"
Stand-up comedian Donovan Strain has deduced the 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.
However, bloggers have noted several errors in Strain's reasoning. For example, "it is unlikely that Ice Cube got 'a beep from Kim' for a booty call since the likely Kim, Ice Cube's fiancée by 1992, was eight-months pregnant at the time."
Due to these errors, an alternative date has been calculated by one blogger to have been November 30, 1988.
Ice Cube, however, has stated that the day described in the song is purely fictional.
“It’s a fictional song,” Cube explained during an interview with Moviefone about 21 Jump Street. “It’s basically my interpretation of what a great day would be. Do you know what I’m saying? So, you know, it’s a little of this and a little of that. I don’t think you can pinpoint the day.” 
The song contains the lyric line "Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp / And it read "Ice Cube's a Pimp""; in 2014, Ice Cube agreed to support a crowdfunding campaign 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 Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Goodyear quickly agreed.
Due to the nature of the fundraiser and the organization, the original song lyrics "Ice Cube's a pimp" were altered to display "Today is a good day" on the Goodyear Blimp.
Charts and certifications
- Michael Odell (April 2005). The Greatest Songs Ever! It Was a Good Day Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Blender. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- 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 Archived October 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine 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.
- "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Radio Los Santos". ign.com. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- 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.
- Dino Gradoni. "Sadly, January 20, 1992 May Not Be Ice Cube's 'Good Day'". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
- "Correction to Murk Avenue: Ice Cube's 'Good Day' really was Nov. 30, 1988". Pandemonium. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- "Ice Cube finally resolves 'It Was A Good Day' theories: 'It's a fictional song'". EW.com. 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- Fenske, Sarah. "Ice Cube Gets His Name on the Goodyear Blimp (For Real)". www.laweekly.com. L.A. Weekly. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- Fenske, Sarah (2014-01-20). "Ice Cube Gets His Name on the Goodyear Blimp (For Real)". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- Ice Cube – "It Was a Good Day" mvdbase. Accessed May 16, 2008.
- "Ice Cube: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
- "Ice Cube Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
- "Ice Cube Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Ice Cube.
- "Ice Cube Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard.
- "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. 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.