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Old School Archives

Looking back at Ice cube's 'The Predator' 30 years later

Ice Cube, along with Ice-T, was a pioneer of gangsta rap and one of the founding fathers of hip hop in California. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, Ice Cube was the face of LA hip hop and made several hits. From ‘F*k Da Police’ to ‘Check Yo Self’, the LA rapper was unmatched in his city.

Ice Cube rose to prominence as part of the legendary crew N.W.A. The group was one of the first hip hop acts to come out of California after Ice-T and became the first nationally accepted and respected Californian hip hop act. However, with all the controversy the group caused, they soon found themselves disbanding during the early 1990s, and it was a messy split.

Ice Cube (real name O’Shea Jackson) grew frustrated with the fact that Dr Dre, Eazy-E and MC Ren were being happily subservient to Jerry Heller when he was, in fact, exploiting them and robbing them of a lot of money. This was the beginning of the end. When he went solo, Dre didn’t appreciate his pursuit, but he still went ahead and, in 1992, released his third studio album, The Predator.

The Predator is a legendary album for many reasons, not only because it was released shortly after the L.A. riots when the city needed a voice but also because it has some incredible singles, including the likes of ‘Check Yo Self’ and ‘It Was A Good Day’.

‘It Was A Good Day’ was the second single from The Predator. Containing a sample from The Isley Brothers’ single ‘Footsteps in The Dark’, the single was slow and smooth.  The song was intended to be a contrast to the other songs on the album, which was recorded in the wake of the 1992 LA Riots.

When talking about the inspiration behind the song, the rapper stated, “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?”

‘It was a Good Day’ has stood the test of time and is still considered a ’90s classic. Released 30 years ago, The Predator debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 in 1992 and was certified double platinum. It greatly influenced the next generation of California artists coming up. However, Ice Cube failed to make the impact in the 1990s that Dre did with Death Row Records.

You can listen to The Predator album below on its 30-year birthday.