The Ideal Qobuz Collection comprises original, uncompiled albums that have made a considerable mark on music history or which qualify as essential recordings within each musical genre. By downloading these albums, or streaming them with your subscription, you begin a journey that will shine a light on some of the finest moments in recorded music.

Albums

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Rap - Released November 11, 2016 | Epic

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
It seemed like the story of A Tribe Called Quest ended with the sad passing of original member Phife in early 2016. It began with their glory days as one of hip-hop's greatest acts to years of sometimes bitter estrangement, then hit a high point with the group coming together in 2015 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their debut album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm. They had a surprise up their sleeve, though. On the night they performed on The Tonight Show, the four original members of the Tribe decided the time was right to hit the studio and make a new album. Repairing relationships was the first step and once that happened, the group (minus Ali Shaheed Muhammad, who was in Los Angeles working on the music to Luke Cage) holed up in Q-Tip's home studio and started working on their comeback, We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service. Q-Tip held down the producer's chair with a mad scientist's flair, searching near and far through his record collection for inspiration. Tip, Phife, and Jarobi brought rhymes that sounded like they'd been sealed up since the early '90s, then broken open and served fresh. Old collaborators Busta Rhymes and Consequence dropped by to add their skills and energy; new artists like Kendrick Lamar and Anderson Paak, who grew up on the Tribe, dropped by to add verses, and some big names like Andre 3000 and Kanye West jumped in feet first, especially Andre, whose rapid-fire verses with Q-Tip on "Kids" provide one of the record's highlights. Jack White adds some of his guitar heroics on a few tracks and Elton John makes a cameo as well, singing the hook of the very odd "Solid Wall of Sound." The sheer number of guests, the long wait since their last album, the shifting tides of hip hop -- all these factors could have led to We Got It being a disappointment. Amazingly, it turns out to be almost the exact opposite. Thanks to Q-Tip's visionary and pleasingly weird production, which draws from golden age hip-hop, old-school jazz, odd samples, dub reggae, and interplanetary electro, the fact the neither he nor Phife have lost even a small percentage of a step, and the seamlessly integrated contributions from the guests (especially Paak on "Moving Backwards"), the album is vibrant, intense, and alive. The group sound like they're having a blast on party songs like "The Donald" or the buoyant "Dis Generation," get mad as hell on tracks like "Space Program" and "We the People," and generally come off like they're still the greatest. This is no nostalgia trip or callous comeback. It's a giant exclamation point on the end of a brilliant career. It's also a tribute to the everyman genius of Phife, a widescreen look at the record-making skills of Q-Tip, and most importantly, it's a pure, undiluted, joyous thrill to have the Tribe back and still sounding this vital. ~ Tim Sendra
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Rap - Released June 24, 2016 | Epic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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€15.59

Rap - Released November 13, 2015 | Jive - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
One year after De la Soul re-drew the map for alternative rap, fellow Native Tongues brothers A Tribe Called Quest released their debut, the quiet beginning of a revolution in non-commercial hip-hop. People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm floated a few familiar hooks, but it wasn't a sampladelic record. Rappers Q-Tip and Phife Dawg dropped a few clunky rhymes, but their lyrics were packed with ideas, while their flow and interplay were among the most original in hip-hop. From the beginning, Tribe focused on intelligent message tracks but rarely sounded over-serious about them. With "Pubic Enemy," they put a humorous spin on the touchy subject of venereal disease (including a special award for the most inventive use of the classic "scratchin'" sample), and moved right into a love rap, "Bonita Applebum," which alternated a sitar sample with the type of jazzy keys often heard on later Tribe tracks. "Description of a Fool" took to task those with violent tendencies, while "Youthful Expression" spoke wisely of the power yet growing responsibility of teenagers. Next to important message tracks with great productions, A Tribe Called Quest could also be deliciously playful (or frustratingly unserious, depending on your opinion). "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" describes a vacation gone hilariously wrong, while "Ham 'n' Eggs" may be the oddest topic for a rap track ever heard up to that point ("I don't eat no ham and eggs, cuz they're high in cholesterol"). Contrary to the message in the track titles, the opener "Push It Along" and "Rhythm (Dedicated to the Art of Moving Butts)" were fusions of atmospheric samples with tough beats, special attention being paid to a pair of later Tribe sample favorites, jazz guitar and '70s fusion synth. Restless and ceaselessly imaginative, Tribe perhaps experimented too much on their debut, but they succeeded at much of it, certainly enough to show much promise as a new decade dawned. ~ John Bush
€17.48
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Rap - Released March 19, 2015 | Universal Music

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Grammy Awards
€19.49

Rap - Released November 24, 2014 | Def Jam Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
€33.99

Rap - Released November 24, 2014 | WM France

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Rap - Released October 24, 2014 | Mass Appeal Records

Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
There are those Jagger/Richards, Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis, or DJ Jazzy Jeff/Fresh Prince-styled collaborations that always seem fruitful. The music created by Killer Mike and El-P easily falls into this category, and is closest to that of Jeff and Prince's, not just because the duo fall under the same category of "hip-hop" but also because Run the Jewels 2, like its predecessor, comes with some joy baked in. It's a broken, ironic, and underground kind of joy as the hard-hitting "Oh My Darling Don't Cry" shows its pimp-hand with "You can all run naked backwards through a field of dicks" and also shows its business card because "You're in luck, it says I do two things: rap and fuck." This sophomore effort keeps the slanted spirit of the original, as mixing the attitude of N.W.A. with the weirdness of Adult Swim is both comfortable and fertile ground for the duo, but the "album" does try harder in the "serious" department. Paranoid androids like "Blockbuster Night, Pt. 1" benefit, as if Run-DMC embraced EL-P's compressed beatmaking and dropped the F-bomb whenever possible. "Early" is deadly serious with Killer Mike pleading "I apologize if it seems I got out of line sir, cuz I respect the badge and a gun/And I pray today ain't the day you drag me away right in front of my son," and that's right before things turn grave. "All Due Respect" with Travis Barker enters Death Grips' territory with punk, techno, and vicious rhymes all crawling up the spine, but this rebel music can still come with a smirk, as a stuttering Zach de la Rocha offers the infectious and weird hook on the wonderfully titled highlight "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)." If the first album was the supernova, RTJ2 is the RTJ universe forming, proving that Mike and El-P's one-off can be a going, and ever growing, concern. ~ David Jeffries
€19.49

Rap - Released October 14, 2014 | Def Jam Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
For many, Public Enemy’s second album is the greatest in rap history. And when it hit music stores in 1988, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back enshrined Chuck D’s gang as the Rolling Stones of hip hop. An uppercut that changed the course of the genre’s history, Public Enemy remains thanks to this album THE benchmark in terms of ideological AND musical engagement. Offering a black version of CNN stripped of political correctness, examining each corner of American society with (extremely) rich rhymes and layers of literate and often carnivorous samples, Public Enemy impose their words as well as their sound. An aggressive approach to musical production (the Bomb Squad led by producer Hank Schocklee) that produces literal acoustic miracles. An electric and groovy tsunami, light years away from the bling-bling rap that would eventually take control of the genre, which attained its creative Golden Age in 1988. This Deluxe Edition includes a second record featuring thirteen bonuses, including the No Noise version of Bring The Noise, instrumentals for Rebel Without a Pause, Night Of The Living Baseheads and Black Steel In The Hour of Chaos, and the soundtrack version of Fight The Power for Spike Lee’s eponymous film. © MZ/Qobuz
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Rap - Released September 25, 2014 | RCA Records Label

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
One of the cornerstones of the New York hardcore movement, The Infamous is Mobb Deep's masterpiece, a relentlessly bleak song cycle that's been hailed by hardcore rap fans as one of the most realistic gangsta albums ever recorded. Given Mobb Deep's youthful age and art-school background, it's highly unlikely that The Infamous is drawn strictly from real-life experience, yet it's utterly convincing, because it has all the foreboding atmosphere and thematic sweep of an epic crime drama. That's partly because of the cinematic vision behind the duo's detailed narratives, but it's also a tribute to how well the raw, grimy production evokes the world that Mobb Deep is depicting. The group produced the vast majority of the album itself, with help on a few tracks from the Abstract (better known as Q-Tip), and establishes a spare, throbbing, no-frills style indebted to the Wu-Tang Clan. This is hard, underground hip-hop that demands to be met on its own terms, with few melodic hooks to draw the listener in. Similarly, there's little pleasure or relief offered in the picture of the streets Mobb Deep paints here: They inhabit a war zone where crime and paranoia hang constantly in the air. Gangs are bound together by a code of fierce loyalty, relying wholly on one another for survival in a hopeless environment. Hostile forces -- cops, rivals, neighborhood snitches -- are potentially everywhere, and one slip around the wrong person can mean prison or death. There's hardly any mention of women, and the violence is grim, serious business, never hedonistic. Pretty much everything on the album contributes to this picture, but standouts among the consistency include "Survival of the Fittest," "Eye for a Eye," "Temperature's Rising," "Cradle to the Grave," and the classic "Shook Ones, Pt. 2." The product of an uncommon artistic vision, The Infamous stands as an all-time gangsta/hardcore classic. ~ Steve Huey
€19.49

Rap - Released September 16, 2014 | Def Jam Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
€19.69
€16.89

Rap - Released April 11, 2014 | Columbia - Legacy

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
€14.99
€12.99

Rap - Released April 4, 2014 | Columbia

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Rap - Released March 28, 2014 | Om Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography

Rap - Released January 13, 2014 | Big Dada

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
The introductory salvo from rap superduo Run the Jewels is a fine example of a union that is so perfect one might wonder how the universe existed before it. The combination of Killer Mike's menacing Hulk power and El-P's sneering quips and lively production make Run the Jewels a thrilling experience. Everything about RTJ is hyperbolic excess -- both in attitude and sound -- stomping boot prints into the concrete and hurling innocent bystanders through brick walls. Although the pair didn't truly come into their own until the stellar 2014 sequel Run the Jewels 2, this 2013 debut hints at everything to come. Top-shelf production from El-P, Little Shalimar, and Wilder Zoby lends a fresh and exciting energy to each song, while El and Mike trade verses that are so dense with humor and bravado that new zingers are revealed with each successive listen. RTJ operate on a singular setting: imagine the silliest, most outrageous boast possible and then top it with a wink and a grin. From the opening blast of "Run the Jewels" to "36" Chain," they threaten with "Riverdance cleats on your face" and pulling guns "on your poodle or your fuckin' baby," taking typical hip-hop intimidation to ridiculous levels. Amongst the quotable gems, RTJ drop the occasional social commentary -- mostly regarding police oppression, poverty, and inner city struggles -- which balances the sophomoric overload with enough gravitas to justify the merit of the project (Mike's entire verse on "DDFH" ("Do dope, fuck hope") is a fine example of this insight). Some familiar friends also make appearances on the album: Mike's fellow ATLien Big Boi drops a standout verse on "Banana Clipper" while Prince Paul injects the filthy "Twin Hype Back" with a number of naughty nuggets as alter ego Chest Rockwell. While Run the Jewels is the appetizer to RTJ2's instant-classic main course, it stands as a no-holds-barred slap to the head for the rap game, calling out complacent contemporaries with each verbal shot fired. As Mike declares on highlight "Get It," "we are the new Avengers." With an aggressive strength that emboldens listeners with delusions of superhero grandeur, it's an apt claim from a dangerous duo that is more powerful than any comic book savior. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

Rap - Released January 7, 2014 | 45 Scientific

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography