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Sunday Night Sample - Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day

Another legendary record sampling from another legendary song. 

In this instance we have Ice Cube's 1993 classic, "It Was A Good Day", off his 3rd solo album, The Predator.

The song sampled the Isley Brother's famous hit "Footesteps In The Dark".

Original- Isley Brothers - Footsteps In The Dark

"Footsteps In The Dark" was a 1977 slow jam recorded by The Isley Brothers as an album track featured on the group's double-platinum album Go For Your Guns. It was the B-side to their hit "Groove with You". 

It marked the funk group's member Ron Isley's first foray into love ballads, which later became his staple.

According to Ernie Isley, who wrote, played drums, guitar and produced the song for the group, the inspiration for the song was heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix. (Hendrix' first recording session was actually with the Isley Brothers in 1964 with the track "Testify")

The song is about infidelity. 

"My mind drifts now and then,
looking down dark corridors wondering what might have been,
somethings up a ahead,
should I keep the same direction or go back instead?"

Your lady cheating you on. Something Ron Isley would make a career singing about. (Remember the 2000's Mr. Biggs?)

Although Ice Cube made the most famous sampled version of the song on "It Was A Good Day" he wasn't actually the first or only artist to use it.

The first to sample it was actually rap group Compton's Most Wanted. 

Ice Cube originally recorded a demo version of "It Was a Good Day" in his home studio. He'd later go on to record the album version in Los Angeles at Echo Sound Studios in 1992 with his producer DJ Pooh, who would take the sample and add beefed up bass and drums to the smoothed out track. 

In the song, Ice Cube raps about his ideal day- a pork-free breakfast, watching Yo MTV Raps!, gambling, nonchalantly netting a triple double, and having sex.

No offense to Jimmy V, but that sounds like a hell of a day.

Cube told Blender in 2007-

Blender - 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?

The song also samples the less famous but still super sexy, "Sexy Mama" by The Moments-

In 2012, comedian Donovan Strain used clues from the song and the internet to pinpoint what the date was described in Ice Cube's song. 

He claimed on his Tumblr that the date likely occurred on January 20, 1992. Strain pointed out that, "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 Sonics, and Ice Cube had no filming commitments was January 20, 1992."

The post generated a ton of publicity, eventually inspiring an internet campaign to put his name on an actual blimp. The campaign was successful, and on January 20, 2014, Goodyear flew Ice Cube’s blimp over South Central LA, raising $25,000 for charity in the process.

Though appreciative of the interest in the date and the donations raised for a good cause Cube has maintained that the date in question is totally fictional. 

Some other songs that sampled the "Footsteps In The Dark" instrumental include -

Slum Village - Call Me

J Dilla - Won't Do

Usher - One Day You'll Be Mine