We Found Ice Cube's Gratitude Journal Entries From "It Was a Good Day"
Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; The Paris Review

We Found Ice Cube's Gratitude Journal Entries From "It Was a Good Day"

The Cali legend's classic was released as a single 30 years ago

On this day 30 years ago, Ice Cube dropped one of the most iconic songs in hip-hop history. Cube, with the help of producer DJ Pooh, flipped the Isley’s Brothers’ dreamy 1977 slow jam “Footsteps in the Dark” and laid down some lyrics over it to create a catchy, feel-good anthem for life in South Central L.A.

According to a 2005 interview for the now-defunct Blender magazine, Ice Cube was inspired to write the song while reflecting on his newfound musical success and simultaneously trying to process the beating of Rodney King and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots that followed. Amid that challenging moment in the city’s history, Ice Cube wanted to take a moment to talk about the good times in life. What resulted was the now-famous track describing just about the best day you could hope to have in early 90’s SoCal. And, as if the song wasn’t already game-changing enough, the music video, directed by legendary film director F. Gary Gray, elevated it to even more unforgettable heights.

Given that "It Was a Good Day" is a celebration of life’s highs, in other words, a moment of gratitude, we imagined what Ice Cube’s diary entries might’ve looked like on the day (hat tip to comedian Donovan Strain for figuring out the exact date) that inspired this timeless bop.

Jan. 20, 1992

8:06 A.M.
Just woke up and I already have this strange feeling that today is going to be an amazing day! Maybe it’s because Bagels, the neighbor’s dog, isn’t yapping like he normally is, or maybe it’s because the air quality index this morning is a healthy 22. But either way, I’m grateful!

8:47 A.M.
Just finished eating breakfast and it was delicious! My mom even remembered not to put any pork sausage in her famous scrambled eggs because she knows I’m trying to watch my cholesterol. It’s awesome that my mom looks out for me like that. I am truly blessed.

8:54 A.M.
You’ll never believe who just called me. That’s right. Kim! The girl I’ve had a crush on since senior year of high school, Kim. The girl everyone in high school called "Bubble Butt" Kim. She called me! And she wants to know if I can hang out later today. Isn’t that crazy? Anyway, today is looking pretty dope.

9:33 A.M.
After I finished talking to Kim, I was on my way out the door when a thought crossed my mind: Would I live through the day? At first I was a little bummed out since it was such a depressing thought, but then I thought about how my therapist Dr. Dre (it’s so confusing that my best friend and my therapist are both named Dr. Dre) is always telling me that you have to be present and just appreciate life one day at a time. And that made me feel so much better. Thanks, Dr. Dre!

10:05 A.M.
I was driving my car and had to stop at a traffic light. And, would you believe it, not one person tried to steal my car at gunpoint! Which is a miracle considering it’s South Central L.A. and I drive a tricked-out, convertible ‘64 Impala. So kudos to the carjackers for not jacking me today!

11:16 A.M.
Kim texted me saying she couldn’t wait to see me tonight! Eeeeeeeee!!! I’m so excited!

11:45 A.M.
I called up Dr. Dre (my friend, not my therapist) and met up with him and some friends
to play basketball. And, not to toot my own horn, but, toot! toot! I straight up crushed it out there. I’m talking hardcore Michael Jordan vibes, for real.

1:32 P.M.
I went home to go take a shower, and on the drive back not a single person tried to shoot at me! Nor did I have to shoot at them! It’s a huge relief considering a couple dudes tried to yesterday. Also, I may or may not have run through a red light on my drive home, but thankfully the cop on the other side of the intersection wasn’t paying attention. Phew!

3:30 P.M.
I headed over to my friend Short Dog’s house and watched some Yo! MTV Raps while we threw some dice. And guess what? Your boy cleaned up! I beat everyone at craps and then I beat everyone at dominos, and won like $800! More importantly, nobody that I know of has been killed today! Some might say that’s a weird thing to randomly mention in a gratitude journal, but hey, it’s the little things, right?

6:47 P.M.
This is it, on my way to hang out with Kim. I still can’t believe this is actually happening. Wish me luck!

1:35 A.M.
Okay, soooo much to write about! So, I went over to Kim’s house with
a six pack of beer, because I wasn’t sure if she would want to blaze or not. But it turns out she’s even more into weed than I am! Isn’t that so ironic (not sure if I’m using that word right)? Anyway, more importantly, we tooootally had sex!!!!!! And I have to say, she absolutely lives up to the nickname “Bubble Butt.” After we were done having sex we both took a nap and I’m just now leaving her place. What a night! Also, as I was leaving, she called me the “top gun!” That’s right, step aside Tom Cruise.

My point is, I’m pretty sure Kim is the future mother of my children.

Also, the Lakers beat the Supersonics! Boooyah!!!

2:08 A.M.
After leaving Kim’s place, I was starving, so I picked up some food from Fatburger. And—you’re not going to believe this—but as I was waiting in line at the drive-thru, I saw the Goodyear blimp fly over me (I guess they were in town for the Lakers game?), and on the side of the blimp, in giant letters, it said “Ice Cube’s a pimp!” Swear to God. Isn’t that crazy? I didn’t even know the Goodyear Blimp said stuff like that. But how cool is that? Not sure how Kim will feel about that, but that’s a problem for future Ice Cube, amirite?

3:06 A.M.
Okey dokey, time for bed. Full disclosure, I’m pretty drunk right now, but I don’t feel nauseous at all, so I guess my lucky streak is still going! I do really need to get to bed, though. Can’t wait to tell Dr. Dre (both my friend and my therapist) about everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours (especially the part about blowing Kim’s back out). I have to say, today was a good day!

More From LEVEL: