Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – The Isley Brothers et Ice Cube

Before Ice Cube was acting in children’s movies, he was the head lyricist of the most notorious hip-hop group to ever do it, N.W.A.  After Cube split from the legendary crew, he launched a successful, and controversial solo career that has featured 9 solo albums, and countless guest features with every major player in hip-hop. Cube’s versatility has allowed him to remain relevant as hip-hop has drastically evolved since the 1980s.  On “It Was a Good Day”, Cube exhibits another aspect that has made him a legend in the game; storytelling.  Here he explains why this particular rap story was different from the rest…

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 Isley Brothers have been sampled on countless records, but “It Was a Good Day” is certainly one of the flyest of the batch.  The sampled song “Footsteps in The Dark” provides a stellar groove right from the beginning of the record, that left little to be done as sample manipulation.  The loop is continuous, and along with a few other obscure chops, it provides the appropriate background for a great story.  The lead guitar riff tells a story on its own, and together the sample and lyrics are the perfect match.  Also, can’t forget the visual for this West Coast classic (P. Walsh/K. Casey).

The Isley Brothers – Footsteps in the Dark

Ice Cube – It Was A Good Day

via Kevin Casey Music