With Straight Outta Compton seeing wide-release this Friday, August 14th, I have been revisiting a whole lot of music recorded by the original N.W.A. members–almost thirty years later and it f-king bangs. For the rest of this week, I will be writing up my favorite tracks from either N.W.A. or the veritable goldmine of solo material they all recorded after the band dissolved.
Today we begin with Ice Cube’s 1993 hit, and his best known song, “It Was A Good Day.”
Everything about “It Was A Good Day”, from that classic Isley Brothers sample, to F Gary Grey’s (familiar name?) music video, to Ice Cube’s humorous temperament, is classic. This was the first time that a wide audience saw that Ice Cube, for all his well-documented and rightful anger, could make light of frustrating, backwards, systemically oppressive conditions with a bit of optimism. This video essentially planted the seeds for 1995’s Friday–Cube even wore the same shirt from the music video in that movie.
My favorite little nugget about this video, though, is that some genius of deduction whittled down all the possible days Ice Cube could have been describing based on certain facts that emerge in the lyrics. In a syllogistic feat of figuring out when Cube would have a beeper, sky conditions were clear, and the Lakers beat the Seattle Supersonics, this wizard of logic determined that January 20th, 1992 must have been the day Cube was describing, aka Good Day Day.
Stay tuned the rest of this week for more N.W.A.-themed tracks, and be sure to catch Straight Outta Compton when it premieres on August 14th. Also, check out our conversation with the film’s Marlon Yates Jr., who talked about his favorite music inspired by the legendary group:
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