Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Technique

The song structure is one of the most interesting aspects of "Boyz N The Hood." The song begins with the members of N.W.A. bantering in the studio, reminiscing about the first version of the song, which appeared on the album N.W.A. and the Posse. As Dre mentions, some people didn't believe the song was going to work, but one huge album later (Straight Outta Compton), here they are completing a new version on the first solo album from one of their own.

Eazy begins the song with "Woke up quick, at about noon, just thought that I had to be in Compton soon." Once he's in his car, he plays the radio, "bumpin' new s--- from N.W.A.," and he finishes: "It was 'Gangsta, Gangsta' at the top of the list, then I played my old s---, it went something like this..."

This initial verse is in fact a second intro to the song. When Eazy delivers the classic line "Cruisin' down the street in my 6-4," he delves into the lyrics that make up the original version of "Boyz N The Hood." What this means is that the events of "Boyz N The Hood (Remix)" aren't narrated as they are happening, but are cast as a story coming directly from Eazy's stereo. The effect doesn't alienate the listener, since the music and lyrics are catchy and almost hypnotic, but many listeners may not notice that the song isn't taking place in the present.

Here's the chronology for the song's 6 minute and 22 second runtime:

  1. Studio banter from N.W.A. (:00 to 16 seconds)
  2. Eazy launches the song. (17 seconds)
  3. Eazy wakes up, threatens some gang members with a Mac-10, then gets in his car and turns on the radio. (18 to 59 seconds)
  4. We hear the song "Boyz N The Hood." (1 minute to 6:22)

In literary terms, this technique is called a "frame narrative," which places a story within a story. This technique can eliminate third person narration, and bring the reader (or listener) closer to the story, since it's related by another storyteller, often a minor character relating the major events of the plot. Given its structure, "Boyz N The Hood" shares a trait with a number of literary classics such as Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, Boccaccio's Decameron, and Arabian Nights.

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