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Cover of the 1989 maxi-12" reissue.
|Song by Eazy-E from the album N.W.A. and the Posse|
|Genre||West coast hip hop, gangsta rap|
|Writer||Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube|
Boyz-n-the-Hood is the solo debut by rapper Eazy-E as a part of N.W.A. Ice Cube wrote the song, and originally intended it to be for H.B.O., another group signed by Ruthless, but after they rejected it Eazy was convinced to rap it. The song was originally on N.W.A. and the Posse, which started with the phrase: "Cruisin' down the street in my '64". Ruthless Records executive Jerry Heller considers the song to be a mix of Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, the Rolling Stones, and the Black Panthers. This samples "I'm a Ho" by Whodini and vocal samples from "Hold It, Now Hit It" by Beastie Boys as well as "Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight. It was remixed and featured on Eazy's debut album Eazy-Duz-It, which was released in 1988. It was remixed again and was featured on Eazy-E's third album, It's On (
Dr. Dre) 187um Killa (1993) under the name "Boyz-n-the-Hood (G-Mix)".
The original version of the song, which was released on 1987's "N.W.A. and the Posse" contained only the five verses, starting with the line 'Cruisin down the street in my six-fo'. Slight lyric changes also are present in the album version.
The remix version contains a prologue that has Eazy-E describing playing the track "Gangsta Gangsta" from his group's N.W.A. 1988 album, then announcing he will be playing his own song, which is in fact the rest of the song "Boyz-n-the-Hood", and the song continues.
Both the original version and the remix versions of "Boyz-n-the-Hood" appear on the 1989 split with N.W.A. They are featured on side A, while the original and remixed versions of "Dopeman" appear on side B.
The song was played on the Up In Smoke Tour. Dr. Dre played this song as a tribute to Eazy-E, with the crowd singing the chorus.
In 2004, the song was re-imagined and sampled by rapper Jim Jones on his debut album On My Way to Church. His version was called "Certified Gangstas", and featured The Game, Bezel and Cam'ron (the album version did not feature the Game, however).
Besides Jim Jones' song there have been many remakes, most notably a cover by alternative rock band Dynamite Hack, which hit #12 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks in 2000. The last line of this version, "Punk ass trippin in the dead of night", is sung to the tune of The Beatles' "Blackbird": "Blackbird singing in the dead of night." However, some of the words, as well as the "Blackbird" melody, were altered for the music video version of the song.
Hispanic rap group Brownside did a remake to the song called "Vatos In The Barrio". The instrumental of the original is remade, and the lyrics are slightly different but keep the main structure of the Eazy-E version.
Underground Memphis rapper Koopsta Knicca made his own version called "Back In Da Hood".
It is sampled in "Front Back" by UGK (as well as its remix by T.I.), "My 64" by Mike Jones (featuring Bun B, Snoop Dogg and Lil' Eazy-E), "Pojat On Huudeilla" by Eurocrack, "Them Boys Down South" by Big Chance.
Track 8 (Disc 2) on DJ Screw's album "The Legend" has the same song style as Boyz-n-the-Hood.
Yelawolf made a song called "Boyz-n-the-Woodz" for his 2008 mixtape, Ball of Flames: the Ballad of Slick Rick E. Bobby. The song interpolates the original chorus but is made to have a "white trash" feel.
Michael Tamashiro recorded a spoken word version for his debut album My Mother Would Not Approve.
- Reeves, Marcus. Somebody Scream!: Rap Music's Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power. Faber and Faber, inc. , 2008, p. 98.
- Breakdown FM: Still Ruthless-Interview w/ Jerry Heller pt1 on Odeo
- Eazy-E / N.W.A* - Boyz-N-The-Hood / Dopeman (Vinyl)
- "Certified Gangstas - Jim Jones, The Game, Cam'ron, Lil Eazy". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-17.
- UGK Front, Back Side & Side - Song - MP3 Stream on IMEEM Music
- T.I. FRONT BACK - Song - MP3 Stream on IMEEM Music
- Mike Jones My '64 - Song - MP3 Stream on IMEEM Music
- Eurocrack: "Pojat On Huudeilla" on YouTube