While DJ Kay Slay's "The Streetsweeper Vol. 1" failed to receive the correct promotion and critical success it deserved, the album was certainly one of the better compilation albums of 2003. However, the same cannot be said for Slay's second offering "The Streetsweeper Vol. 2 - The Pain From The Game". Surprisingly Vol. 1 had only a handful of filler tracks, along with excellent production from likes of Ez Elpee, among others. However, with Vol. 2 the listener is given a more diverse, watered down album that tries to hard to reach all demographics. With over forty artists cluttered throughout the album, "The Pain From The Game" fails to provide any consistency and ends up like its predecessors, consumed with nothing but filler material.
While Vol. 1 had its variety in sounds, it mainly stuck to a grimy, east coast mold. Vol. 2, however, tries to strike it rich by offering almost every conceivable sound in the Hip Hop world. For the dirty south fans, Lil Jon, David Banner & Bun B's "Drama" is an all too typical, cliché filled, tear up the club type track that fails to be as "catchy" as previous Lil Jon efforts. Also following in that mold are Three 6 Mafia's "Who Gives A Fuck Where You From" and Lil Flip, Lil Mo & E-40's disgraceful "Don't Stop The Music", which takes a page out of Yarbrough & People's original version, as if Puffy's rendition wasn't enough. For those wanting something a little more commercial, the trio of Joe's (Fat Joe, Joe Budden & Joe) offer a laughable attempt with "Not Your Average Joe" and if things couldn't get any worse someone remarkably came up with the idea of putting three Hip Hop radio personalities with no rhyming skills on one track together. "Celebrity Love" featuring LaLa, Steph Lova & Tiffany is about as gimmicky a song can be these days. Its not only disgraceful, but down right embarrassing that Kay Slay would allow something of this quality on his album.
But the "drama" doesn't end their for Kay Slay, as even the "big dogs" on the album fail to provide solid efforts. The predictable and boring sounds of Eminem & Obie Trice on "I'm Gone" and D-12 on "Census Bureau" are definitely throwaway tracks, as is G-Unit's performance on the lukewarm "Angles Around Me". "No Problems" featuring Jaheim, Noreaga, Nature & Left is a waste of a solid Kanye West beat, as is the Stay Gettin produced "Through Your Head" featuring Jae Millz, Angelous and Cashmere, among others.
Of course Harlem's very own Dipset comes through for two lackluster tracks, "Get Retarded" and "Harlem" by Killa Cam. "Get Retarded", which features Twista, features a decent, hardcore beat by Stay Gettin, but is bogged down by the Diplomats usual thug ramblings, which always tend to make no sense. Jim Jone's humiliating first verse is only a sign of what's to come, as Juelz Santana manages to outshine him in pure wackness with his respective verse. Cam's "Harlem" is thankfully a little better, even though the Stay Gettin produced track is badly mixed.
With 19 tracks, its sad to say but there are only a couple of standout efforts on "The Streetsweeper Vol. 2". Ghostface and Scarface hook up for the Heatmakerz produced "Face Off", which thankfully delivers the type of collaboration you would expect out of the two legends. Sauce Money, Memphis Bleek & Game hook up for an awkward but successful collaboration on "Hands On The Pump", which sees the return of DJ Clark Kent to the boards, which is reason enough to give the track a listen. But the album's true gem comes from one of the last places you would expect. James Todd Smith transforms into his old hungry self for 3 minutes of brilliance on the Swizz Beatz produced "The Truth". While the softer side of LL has reigned supreme the past 10 years, that old wily veteran still knows how to bring it raw when he has to. "The Truth" literally finds LL at his best in years, as he addresses all critics and naysayers with one amazing verse that will shatter all doubts as if LL can still spit that heat. "Put that mic down, admire the technique, a tight tight sound. I'm a renegade, never been afraid the time is right now. Before I take my bow and finally allow my love affair with rap to fade, I'll sink into the page".
While Kay Slay is still the king of the streets, "The Streetsweeper Vol. 2" fails to show such greatness. Slay unfortunately fell into the same trap that most DJ's do with their major label mixtapes by trying to string together an album that will appeal to everyone but only ends up being one big mess full of throwaway tracks.