It Was a Good Day

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"It Was a Good Day"
Good Day Predator.jpg
Single by Ice Cube
from the album The Predator
ReleasedFebruary 23, 1993
Recorded1992
Genre
Length4:20
Label
Songwriter(s)O'Shea Jackson
Producer(s)DJ Pooh
Ice Cube singles chronology
"Wicked"
(1992)
"It Was a Good Day"
(1993)
"Check Yo Self"
(1993)
Audio sample

"It Was a Good Day" is a song by American rapper Ice Cube. It was released as the second single from his third solo album, The Predator, on February 23, 1993. The song peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and No. 27 on the UK Charts. On the Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at No. 15, making it Ice Cube's highest-charting single on the chart to date. "It Was a Good Day" was ranked at No. 81 on the list of greatest rap songs of all time by About.com, No. 77 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s, No. 36 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time, and No. 352 on the latter's list of Top 500 Best Songs of All Time.[1] In 2008, the song was ranked at No. 28 on VH1's 100 greatest hip-hop songs.[citation needed]

Background[edit]

Ice Cube originally recorded a demo of "It Was a Good Day" in his home studio, and later went on to record the album version in Los Angeles at Echo Sound Studios in 1992, where it was one of the first ideas for his upcoming album.[7] Ice Cube commented on the concept behind the song explaining,

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?'[7]

Initially, Ice Cube went into the studio with a sample of the Isley Brothers' "Footsteps in the Dark". DJ Pooh later enhanced the production with bass and vocals.[7] The song has been re-released multiple times, including on Ice Cube's Greatest Hits album, Bootlegs & B-Sides, and The N.W.A Legacy, Vol. 1: 1988–1998.

"It Was a Good Day" samples the Isley Brothers' "Footsteps in the Dark, Pts. 1&2" and "Sexy Mama" by The Moments.[8][failed verification][citation needed]

Date of the "Good Day"[edit]

In a 2012 Tumblr post, stand-up comedian Donovan Strain used clues from the lyrics of the song to determine that the titular "Good Day" likely occurred on January 20, 1992.[9] Strain claims, "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."[10] Deadspin later followed up by fact-checking some of the claims made by Strain.[11]

However, Internet sleuths have noted several inconsistencies in Strain's reasoning. For example, it was reported that Yo! MTV Raps did not air that day in 1992, and, "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."[12] Due to these errors, an alternative date has been calculated by one blogger, pointing to November 30, 1988.[13]

Ice Cube, however, has stated that the day described in the song never actually occurred and is made up of things that happened on a number of different days:

It’s a fictional song. 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.[14]

Goodyear response[edit]

In 2014, Ice Cube agreed to support a fundraising campaign started by four close friends, who described themselves as "diehard rap aficionados", wanting to raise and donate $25,000 for the South Los Angeles charity A Place Called Home (APCH), an after-school youth center, if the Goodyear Blimp would display the lyrics "Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp / And it read 'Ice Cube's a pimp'" from the third verse of "It Was a Good Day".[15] After Ice Cube spoke about the fundraising campaign on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Goodyear quickly agreed.[16] However, given the nature of the fundraiser and the organization, Goodyear decided against using the word "pimp", and instead, flew the blimp with messages including, "Today is A Good Day", and "Flying For a Good Cause -- A Place Called Home."[15]

Reception[edit]

The song was universally acclaimed by critics. 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." He further stated that the song was, "a truly beautiful moment, a career highlight for sure."[17] Blender magazine writer, Michael Odel, stated that the song contained, "a chilled-out, feel-good vibe".[7] Greg Sandow from Entertainment Weekly mentioned that Ice Cube rapped over a "partly melancholy, partly swaggering beat [and] glories in good luck, South Central style".[18] Music writer James Masterton wrote in his weekly UK chart commentary, "Thus it is that when Ice Cube finally crosses over and gets his first UK hit, it is with "It Was A Good Day" a laid-back mellow rap, far removed from his usual uncompromising throwdown and may even stand a chance of crossing over even further."[19] Vibe magazine described DJ Pooh's beat as a "smoothed-out production".[20]

"It Was a Good Day" reached #77 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s.[21] The song was also included in About.com's Top 100 Rap Songs, at number 81.[22] In 2008, it was ranked #28 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "It Was a Good Day" was directed by F. Gary Gray and was first aired in March 1993.[23] It was published on YouTube in February 2009. The video has amassed more than 150 million views as of October 2021.[24]

The music video follows the song's lyrics, with Ice Cube waking up in the morning, eating breakfast with his family, driving around in his green 1964 Chevrolet Impala, winning a pickup game of street basketball, avoiding police, going over to a friend's house, watching Yo! MTV Raps, winning games of craps and dominoes, and thanking God for no gang violence–related deaths during the day. Later, he picks up an old 12th-grade crush named Kim; they drink, smoke, watch an NBA game, and have sex; he then drives her home and goes to Fatburger. At the end of the video, as Ice Cube is about to enter his house, police cars and helicopters surround him, but he ignores them and enters his house with police following behind him with text onscreen saying "To Be Continued...", setting up the plot for the music video to Ice Cube's following single "Check Yo Self".

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[36] Gold 45,000double-dagger
United Kingdom (BPI)[37] Gold 400,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[39] Gold 600,000[38]

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. June 2, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  2. ^ "Ice Cube Promotes "It Was A Good Day" Clothing Line To Benefit Autism Speaks". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  3. ^ Brown, T. M. "The greatest hip-hop songs of all time". www.bbc.com. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  4. ^ "The 30 best G-Funk tracks of all time". Fact Magazine. July 26, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2021.
  5. ^ "Ice Cube has launched a charity clothing range to support autism". Fact Magazine. March 2, 2017. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  6. ^ "The 20 Best Five-year Runs In Rap". Complex. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d 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.
  8. ^ It Was a Good Day sample searchThe-breaks. Accessed May 21, 2008. Archived December 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Murk Avenue | Tumblr MurkAve. National Good Day Day Accessed January, 2012.
  10. ^ "I FOUND ICE CUBES 'GOOD DAY'". MURK AVENUE. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  11. ^ The Internet Has Discovered The Exact Day Featured In Ice Cube’s "It Was A Good Day" DeadSpin.
  12. ^ Gradoni, Dino. "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.
  13. ^ "Correction to Murk Avenue: Ice Cube's 'Good Day' really was Nov. 30, 1988". Pandemonium. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  14. ^ "Ice Cube finally resolves 'It Was A Good Day' theories: 'It's a fictional song'". EW.com. March 5, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "'It Was A Good Day' For Rap Fans Everywhere". HuffPost Canada. January 20, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  16. ^ Fenske, Sarah (January 20, 2014). "Ice Cube Gets His Name on the Goodyear Blimp (For Real)". LA Weekly. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
  17. ^ Jason Birchmeier. The Predator > Overview AllMusic. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  18. ^ Greg Sandow (November 20, 1992). The Predator | Music Review Entertainment Weekly. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  19. ^ Masterton, James (March 21, 1993). "Week Ending March 27th 1993". Chart Watch UK. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  20. ^ Vibe 150: West Coast Archived October 3, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Vibe. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  21. ^ 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s. VH1. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  22. ^ Top 100 Rap Songs. About.com. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  23. ^ Ice Cube – "It Was a Good Day" mvdbase. Accessed May 16, 2008.
  24. ^ "Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day (Official Video)". YouTube. February 24, 2009. Retrieved October 21, 2021.
  25. ^ "European Dance Radio" (PDF). Music & Media. April 17, 1993. p. 25. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  26. ^ "Ice Cube: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  27. ^ "Top 60 Dance Singles" (PDF). Music Week. March 27, 1993. p. 28. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
  28. ^ "Ice Cube Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  29. ^ "Ice Cube Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Ice Cube Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "Ice Cube Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard.
  32. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége.
  33. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  34. ^ "The Year in Music: R&B" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 105, no. 52. BPI Communications. December 25, 1993. p. YE-29. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  35. ^ "The Year in Music: Rap" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 105, no. 52. BPI Communications. December 25, 1993. p. YE-27. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  36. ^ "Danish single certifications – Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day". IFPI Danmark. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  37. ^ "British single certifications – Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  38. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1993". Billboard. Vol. 106, no. 3. BPI Communications. January 15, 1994. p. 73. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  39. ^ "American single certifications – Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day". Recording Industry Association of America.

External links[edit]