Training Day, the film, follows a rookie cop through his first day as an LAPD narcotics officer. He comes to terms with the ugly truths of his job and the brutal realities of the city he's trying to protect. Training Day, the soundtrack, is just as ugly and brutal as the movie. Each track is a graphic portrait of city life, from the profiling style of street business to the kill or be killed philosophy engrained in even the innocent. The soundtrack is graphic, but not gratuitous. Songs that may have otherwise been viewed as unnecessarily violent or sexual feel completely appropriate and are more effective in the context of the film. That may be why some of rap's most respected names, including Dr. Dre, P Diddy, and Cypress Hill signed on for the project. Their veteran status is supported by the aggressive energy of rap newcomers like Nelly, Krubsnatcha, and Pharoahe Monch. David Bowie joins P Diddy & the Bad Boy Family on "American Dream," but the collaboration feels forced and Bowie's unmistakable glam rock voice seems tragically out of place. It's really the only track that doesn't work, which is rare for a soundtrack. If this soundtrack lacks anything, it's variety. Songs about dirty cops, ruthless killings, and meaningless sex are followed by songs about meaningless killings, dirty sex, and ruthless cops. Few of the tracks stand out from the rest, but maybe that's the idea. Maybe its just like Napalm says and they're "all singing the same song."
AllMusic Review by Brad Kohlenstein