What Is Hip?

Album: Tower of Power (1973)
Charted: 91
  • So you want to jump out your trick bag
    And ease on into a hip bag
    But you ain't just exactly sure what's hip
    So you start to let your hair grow
    Spend big bucks to cop you a wardrobe
    But somehow you know there's much more to the trip

    [Chorus]
    What is hip?
    Tell me, tell me if you think you know
    What is hip?
    If you was really hip
    The passing years would show
    You into a hip trip
    Maybe hipper than hip
    But what is hip?

    So you became part of the new breed
    Been smokin' only the best weed
    Been hangin' out on the so-called hippest set
    Being seen at all the right places
    Being seen with just the right faces
    You should be satisfied
    Still it ain't quite right

    [Chorus]

    Hipness, what it is!
    Hipness, what it is!
    Hipness, what it is!
    And sometimes hipness is
    What it ain't!

    You done even went and found you a guru
    In your effort to find you a new you
    And maybe even managed
    To raise your conscious level
    As you striving to find the right road
    There's one thing you should know
    What's hip today
    Might become passe Writer/s: EMILIO CASTILLO, JOHN DAVID GARIBALDI, STEPHEN M KUPKA
    Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 13

  • C.gibson from Grand Rapids, MiIt was only because I watched an old re-run of The Drew Carey Show that I first listened to this splendid funk song. Just cleanly and superbly performed, out-right fun!! Thank you, TOP!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 16th 1973, The Tower of Power performed "What Is Hip?" on the syndicated television program 'Don Kirshner's Rock Concert'...
    Three months later on February 17th, 1974 the song entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #98; the following week it peaked at #91 and then fell off the chart...
    It reached #39 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between July 1972 and October 1976 the Oakland-area funk band had eight Top 100 records; their biggest hit was "So Very Hard to Go", it peaked at #17 {for 1 week} on July 22nd, 1973 {reached #11 on the R&B Singles chart}.
  • Fredharris from San Francisco,ca, CaSinger Tony Adamo goes beyond What is Hip?

    http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/showcase.php?id=1005
  • Fredharris from San Francisco,ca, CaYouTube - Classic Remakes-What Is Hip
    Jul 23, 2010 ... a comparison of the funk classic What Is Hip? by Tower Of Power and the remake by Tony Adamo.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LOr9emJ0xU
    www.strokeland.com
  • Fredharris from San Francisco,ca, CaDoc Gives the Go Ahead
    Singer/songwriter Tony Adamo and his producer/guitarist Jerry Stucker have re-grooved the Tower of Power (TOP) songs "What Is Hip" and "This Time It's Real," and have added their unmistakable smooth groove to these TOP hit classics.

    Adamo and Stucker have reimagined "What Is Hip" in a totally fresh and hip style that pays homage to, but never attempts to duplicate, the classic Tower of Power original.

    Adamo told us that during a recent meditation he had a musical insight about the music for a cover for this tune. He brought the idea to his producer, Jerry Stucker, who immediately contacted Stephen "Doc" Kupka about a remake. This was when they discovered that Doc had been thinking about retooling "This Time It's Real" along with several other TOP tunes. Doc was knocked out when he heard the rough mix and gave the high sign for them to groove on.
    www.strokeland.com
    www.myspace.com/tonyrocadamo
  • Fredharris from San Francisco,ca, Ca'Doc' Kupka gets hip to Tony Adamo's "What is Hip"

    "I love Tony's version of "What Is Hip?". He evokes the beatnik-bongo days of my youth and gives a whole new slant to a hard-charging funk tune. Congrats to both Tony Adamo and Jerry Stucker!" Stephen 'Doc' Kupka, Tower of Power co-founder
    www.strokeland.com
    www.myspace.com/tomyrocadamo
  • Victoria from Portland, OrGreat song as far as lyrics. Still a good question to ask these days - what IS hip??? Danced to a lot of Tower of Power in my youth (70's) in college and grad school. What is Hip was not my favorite of the band's repertoire since the beat changes so much but was good for doing spins, etc. on the dance floor. Not that many people liked to dance to it for that reason. People make fun of disco and music from 70's but, except for big band music of the 40's, it can't be beat for dancing to. I used to say I'd rather dance than walk and TOP helped me out with that a lot.
  • Balazs Ori from Budapest, HungaryI had not known much about TOP before I went to their concert with a friend of mine last week in Budapest. I've seen the Cool and the Gang, Jamiroquai, The Brand New Heavies and for example George Benson sevaral times alive, but they all are pretty much nothing compared to these guys. Tower of Power is TOP. Great music, joyful show. I gotta buy their albums.
  • Thomas from Stavanger, NorwaySimply a great song.
  • Bobby from Lagunitas, CaWhat is hip is one bad song man. Several of their songs are happenin. I rember when TOP used to play Georges Pool Hall In San Rafael Ca. I always said they have the best horn section on the planet. Elton Johns Mucsle Shoals horns were all that man. But I do love the SNL band They were awesome. I call TOP THE MOST FAMOUS UNKNOWN BAND IN THE WORLD. Everyone should hear this band play as a matter of fact they should play the Hollywood Bowl just for the hell of it Blow all those upper crust snobs away.
  • Rafael from Pasadena, CaSaw them at the Greek theater in LA a few years back and they smoked with this song.

    It was a great song in high school and it's a great song now.
  • Kathryn from Portland , OrAgreed! If you like funk, you'll love Tower of Power! Plus, Lenny Pickett, leader of the SNL band, was once in this group.
  • Evan from Flower Mound, Txgreat funk song that is very unknown, just judging by the lack of comments
see more comments

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