L.A. Songs: It Was a Good Day
Today, January 20th, is the 22nd anniversary of one of songs that most represented L.A. to me when I was growing up, Ice Cube's "It Was a Good Day". It tells the story of a day when everything goes right for the narrator, in contrast to the more common tales of violence prevalent in the genre, for instance in the songs of the group that Ice Cube came from, N.W.A. I remember hearing it on the radio, kicking off with the looped sample from The Isley Brother's "Footsteps in the Dark", and it representing the space of a city that I had never imagined in that way.
The "date" of January 20th for the song taking place was arrived at by Donovan Strain, who analyzed the lyrics to figure out the only date that the events of the song could happen--when pagers existed, the weather in L.A. was clear, and the Lakers beat the Supersonics. Today, January 20th, 2014, Ice Cube flew in the Goodyear Blimp that was mentioned in the song, over South L.A. as part of a fundraiser.
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