Meaning of What’s Up? by 4 Non Blondes

Surely you know who is usually called “one hit wonder” in music, but still we recall that this is the name given to performers who became famous for one composition. One of them is the rock band 4 Non Blondes, founded in San Francisco. Four colorful girls won the hearts of the public with the composition What’s Up?, which became their only real hit. Let’s remember how it came into being.

The history of the creation of the song What’s Up?

The author of the words and music of the composition is Linda Perry, vocalist of 4 Non Blondes. In an interview with, the band’s bassist Christa Hillhouse elaborated on the history of the song What’s Up?:

People try to give any song a special meaning, but when Linda wrote it, she just sat in the hall. We played guitar all the time, we did it all the time. We practiced every day. I know people who think about formulas when they write a song, or think about structure. Linda has never lived like this. In this regard, Linda is very harmonious. She just sits down and sings about how she feels…

Many people write like this. I write like this: it seems the song is already there, and you are like a loudspeaker. Suddenly a song pops into my head and I don’t know where it came from. I remember when she wrote the lyrics to “What’s Up”, she knew it so well that she thought she had heard it before. I think that’s why the song resonates with so many people. She is [Линда] I was able to convey what I felt.

4 Non Blondes

Krista explained the main idea of ​​the composition as follows:

If you take the words apart, they mean nothing. It’s about how the song makes certain people feel. They don’t speak English in Europe, but they understand every word in broken English, and this song makes them feel something. Ever since we played it, I know that it makes the whole room feel something… Sincerity erupts from it, and people react to it. Of course, later this song was erased to holes, and many people just started to feel sick from it.

It also has to do with the attitude “We live, we’re penniless, all we have to do is play music.” The late eighties were a strange time. We lived quite simply, but when you are an artist and live a simple life, you are much more open and sensitive. We were definitely not poseurs and always remained quite sincere as individuals. She expressed her feelings in the song, and it turned out that these are feelings close to everyone.

The chorus repeats the line “what’s going on?” repeatedly. However, the phrase “What’s up?” was used as the title, which never appears in the lyrics of the song. So the authors tried to avoid confusion with the famous composition of Marvin Gaye.

Release and achievements

In 1993, What’s Up? was released as the second single from Bigger, Better, Faster, More!, the debut album by the rock band 4 Non Blondes.

The track enjoyed great success in many countries, topping the charts in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Clip What’s Up? – 4 Non Blondes

The music video for What’s Up?, directed by Morgan Lawley, was hugely popular on MTV.

Interesting Facts

  • The track is featured on VH1 and MuchMore’s 100 Greatest One Hit Artists lists.

Lyrics of What’s Up? – 4 Non Blondes

Twenty five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination
I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means

And so I cry sometimes
When I’m lying in bed just to get it all out
What’s in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar

And so I wake up in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath
And I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs
What’s going on?

And I say, hey yeah yeah, hey yeah yeah
I said hey, what’s going on?
And I say, hey yeah yeah, hey yeah yeah
I said hey, what’s going on?

And I try, oh my god do I try
I try all the time, in this institution
And I pray, oh my god do I pray
I pray every single day
For a revolution.

What’s Up Lyrics – 4 Non Blondes

I’m twenty-five and my life stands still
I’m trying to climb the great hill of hope
which became the destination
When the time came I quickly realized
That the world is made of male brotherhood,
Whatever it means

And sometimes I cry
Lying in bed just to get rid of
What’s going on in my head
And I, I feel a little strange

And I wake up in the morning
And I go outside
And I take a deep breath
And I feel really good
And I scream at the top of my voice:
“What’s happening?”

And I say: “Hey, yes-yes, hey, yes-yes”
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?”
And I say: “Hey, yes-yes, hey, yes-yes”
I said, “Hey, what’s going on?”

And I try, God, I try hard
I try all the time in this system
And I pray, God, I pray hard
I pray every day
About the revolution

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