2

What does "There I was, hip by association" mean? And by the way, does "go some straight route" mean "create my career without his help" here?

While going to college and thinking maybe I should go some straight route, I realized that after taking everything that ended in 101 or ology, there was nothing but music for me. So I left college, moved up to San Francisco, and started recording other people. I had no idea what I was doing. I got very lucky. I moved next door to a guy who was doing little 15-second spots for this new crazy cable channel. I did some of those - turns out it was MTV! There I was, hip by association. Ad agencies love cool. They tracked me down between who I was going to record next and writing music for commercials. It was very lucrative and a great business to get into. So pretty quickly I was able to turn my passion for music into a business.

(forbes.com)

1 Answer 1

3

The word hip in this context is an adjective; here is a definition listed in NOAD:

hip (adj.) following the latest fashion, especially in popular music and clothes : it's becoming hip to be environmentally conscious.

The phrase by association means that something applies to you because you have some relationship to it. It's perhaps most often used in the phrase guilty by association. Again, from NOAD:

guilt by association (phrase) guilt ascribed to someone not because of any evidence but because of their association with an offender.

So the author is saying that he was hip by association, that is, he was "in" or "cool" because of his association with something that was "in" or "cool" – in this case, MTV, which was new at the time.


As for "go some straight route," the word straight here means "conventional and ordinary," and the author is referring to the usual way of spending four years in college before embarking on a career.

2
  • "The phrase by association means that something applies to you because you have some relationship to it. It's perhaps most often used in the phrase guilty by association." <-- It's not clear to me what the it refers to there. Are you saying that "some description applies to you because it applies to something or someone you have some relationship with"? Apr 19, 2017 at 13:07
  • @AraucariaMan - Yes, that's it exactly.
    – J.R.
    Apr 19, 2017 at 14:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .