Do Remember When The Internet Figured Out The Exact Date Ice Cube Had A Good Day
Twenty-five years ago, Ice Cube released the highest-charting solo song of his three-plus-decade Rap career. Although “It Was A Good Day” made its debut in late 1992 on Cube’s third LP, The Predator, the single took flight after the album’s second single, “Wicked.”
The formula for “It Was A Good Day” seems simple in retrospect. Cube partnered with fellow West Coast O.G. DJ Pooh (his creative collaborator on Friday a few years later). Just as Dr. Dre, Cold 187um, and DJ Quik were throwing some modern accents on lowrider oldies, Pooh re-purposed The Isley Brothers’ “Footsteps In The Dark.”
F. Gary Gray, who would later direct Friday and Straight Outta Compton, called the shots for the iconic video. With the money-metallic-green 1964 Chevrolet Impala in the supporting role, Cube takes to the South Central, Los Angeles streets. Most of the things he raps about take place on the screen, making an excellent G-Funk visual for the period. Cube raps a day in his life—one of the better ones—at least until the video’s closing moments.
However, for an artist respected for his non-fiction accounts of street-life and race, did the day ever really happen?
Throughout the last decade, people have set out to determine if and when this “good day” could have actually taken place. Back in 2012, one Tumblr poster, Murk Avenue, used two critical points from the song to identify the possibilities. In the verses, Cube mentions catching an episode of Yo! MTV Raps at Too Short’s L.A. residence. He also references his beloved Los Angeles Lakers defeating the now-defunct Seattle SuperSonics. Those events have hard dates that were checkable by broadcast and sports schedules.
With 12 possibilities, the next piece of evidence became Cube’s line about L.A. having a rarity: “no smog.” Based on old weather reports, the 12 possibilities turned to four:
November 30, 1988
April 4, 1989
January 18, 1991
January 20, 1992
This is where things got a bit interesting.
Murk charged that when Cube referenced getting “a beep from Kim,” it confirmed the date to be in the 1990s. There was some speculation here, as Cube had famously rapped about his “pager” on N.W.A.’s “F*ck Tha Police” in 1988.
The researcher thus rules out the two ’80s dates. They go on to deduce that in early 1991, Cube was fast at work on the set of Boyz N’ The Hood. While a Sun-Sentinel newspaper article about the Goodyear blimp being in for improvements seemed to challenge this theory, Deadspin confirmed that the tire company has a fleet of advertising air-crafts.
Thus, Murk Avenue concluded that January 20, 1992, must be the day. That is also plausible by the fact that The Predator dropped later that year. Cube was likely writing his raps 11 months before his third LP dropped.
Days later, another devoted Cube listener and Tumblr user, Lahaltiel, brought up this pager-point, and threw out some interesting additional information that re-framed the research:
Ice Cube’s wife is Kimberly Woodruff. The couple is reported to have begun dating in 1988. Based on this theory, with his pager in hand, Cube received a romantic advance from the same Kim who he’s been with the 30 years since. Later in the lyrics, he references picking up a woman he’s had a crush on since the twelfth grade. Having already received a beep, it’s safe to assume that that person is also Kim. Lahaltiel charges that in 1991, the real-life Kimberly Woodruff was pregnant with the couple’s first child (born five weeks later). In early ’92, the Jacksons had that baby at home—O’Shea Jackson, Jr.—a star in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton.
The research goes as far as checking the days of the weeks against the times a Fatburger restaurant would be open in the late-night. November 30, 1988, April 4, 1989, and January 20, 1992, were all weekdays, with presumably earlier closing times. January 18, 1991 was a Friday.
Lahaltiel concludes that November 30, 1988 must be the day. In addition to the pager-point, this researcher believes “It Was A Good Day” falls under Ice Cube’s courtship with his now wife while hitting the criteria of Yo! MTV Raps, a Lakeshow win, and clear weather in South Central.
This week, actor Jonah Hill appeared on Genius‘ “For The Record” show with Rob Markman. At 11:00, Jonah admits that his favorite song is “It Was A Good Day.” The actor who worked with Cube on 21 Jump Street and its sequel mentioned the 2012 quest to find the exact date and had some damning news. “I’ve been down this [when was the song about] rabbit-hole many times. I asked him; I worked with Ice Cube. I wrote that [‘Captain Dickson’] part for him in 21 Jump Street,” Hill says just before 12:00. “When I got comfortable enough to ask him a question, the first thing I said was, ‘What day is it?’ He’s just like [closes eyes], ‘It’s not a day. I just compiled all these great things to make a great day.'”
Even though the good day may never have really happened, Ice Cube and DJ Pooh made one great song.