TV Club: The Get Down finale is hip-hop’s answer to “Jungleland”

When I first heard Bruce Springsteen‘s “Jungleland” as a ten-year-old, it sounded gritty. It sounded real. It sounded like the heart of youth, an accurate portrayal of what it was like to be young, in love, and obsessed with music.

As I got older, I realized that wasn’t exactly the case. Teenagers don’t congregate on turnpikes and in alleys to use their artistic skills as a means of combat. They don’t fight with opera and ballet. They don’t flash guitars like switchblades. “Jungleland” is and was fabulist fiction.

But did that make it any less real? Any less authentic? Of course not. And that‘s something I didn’t realize until I was well out of college. Because when you’re a kid, a guitar can be as deadly and powerful as a switchblade. The arts do seem like a matter of life and death …

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