The Story Behind Ice Cube’s ‘It Was a Good Day’

Point being: The song's an all-time classic, functioning both as Ice Cube's biggest hit and maybe the rapper's most introspective. It's well-worthy of today's Complex short doc, which illuminates why the song has an optimistic tone—especially after the harder-hitting NWA numbers “Straight Outta Compton” and “Fuck the Police.” By 1993, the doc says, rival L.A. gangs had structured an historic peacetime agreement, and people began looking up from years of murder, riots, and police brutality. Ice Cube's “It Was a Good Day” was able to tap into that moment, yet still retain the feelings of anxiety that come with living in such a tough environment.

He was so damn good at capturing atmosphere. It's why you can immediately recall what TV show is called out in the second verse.

Also, fun fact: did anyone know that “pulled out the jammy and killed the punani” means “have sex?” Punani is Hawaiian slang for “vagina.” Jammy: penis. The more you know.