Indie Stores Pen Letter To Jay-Z & Kanye West Protesting Best Buy, iTunes Exclusives

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Indie Stores Pen Letter To Jay-Z & Kanye West Protesting Best Buy, iTunes Exclusives

Independent record stores write an open letter to Hov and Ye about iTunes and Best Buy getting a leg up in selling "Watch the Throne."

Independent record labels have untied under a singular cause: to protest the advantages iTunes and Best Buy have over other outlets selling Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne.

iTunes will release the album on August 8, four days before the physical release, and Best Buy has an exclusive on the deluxe edition of the album for the first ten days of its release.

According to pitchfork.com, Record Store Day sent out an e-mail to participating independent record stores requesting that they sign an open letter addressed to both Hov and Yeezy.

The collective plans to publish the letter "shortly" in Billboard magazine.

The letter contends that this "exclusives" practice will do damage to the nearly 2,000 independent record stores that continue to sell music by the two emcees.

Read the letter below:

"Dear Jay-Z and Kanye West,

Independent record stores serve our communities. Our passion is music, and
we convey this to the millions of customers who come to our stores. That's
what we do.

Four years ago independent music stores across the country banded together
to create Record Store Day. Our goal was to counter the negative media
coverage about the supposed demise of record stores brought on by the
closing of the Tower stores and to respond to the music business practices
that fans deemed to be manipulative and onerous.

We reached out to the artist community to see if they would join us, and the
response was overwhelming with words of support coming in from Paul
McCartney, Erykah Badu, Tom Waits, Chuck D, the Foo Fighters and countless
others. Working with their label partners, many of these musicians created
limited edition works of art, including vinyl and CDs made especially for
music specialty retail. Hundreds of these artists took the opportunity to
perform, DJ, and interact with their fans in our record stores. Here in the
US, Record Store Day lifted the entire music business by 8% and contributed
to the growth in music sales. Record Store Day is now one of the biggest
music events in history with millions of people participating worldwide. We
also continue to work throughout the year with labels, artists and managers
and run regular promotions via physical independent retail and
recordstoreday.com.

We are responding to the bad news that your new album will not be available
to independent record stores until after iTunes gets a window of
exclusivity. We also learned that the deluxe version (which is what the true
music fans who shop our stores will want by an overwhelming majority) will
only be available at Best Buy exclusively for a period of time. We believe
this is a short-sighted strategy, and that your decisions will be doing
great damage to over 1,700 independent record stores -- stores that have
supported you and your music for years.

We know that you are busy, and that you put most of your energies into
creating great music, but we are writing to you in the hope that you will
hear us and take the time to rectify this matter. As representatives of the
independent record store music community, we are asking you to allow record
stores and music fans equal access to your new album.

With the utmost respect,

Dedry Jones, The Music Experience
Mike Dreese, Newbury Comics
Judy Negley, Independent Records
Mike Batt, Silver Platters
Tobago Benito, DBS Sounds
Brian Faber, Zia Records
Karen Pearson, Amoeba Music
Bryan Burkert, The Sound Garden
Mike Wise, Monster
Rob Roth, Vintage Vinyl
Joe Nardone, Jr., Gallery of Sound
Jonathan Fernandez, Rasputin Music
Dilyn Radakovitz, Dimple Records
Dustin Hansen, Graywhale Entertainment
Bill Kennedy, BK Music
Jim Bland, Plan Nine
Steve Wilson, Kiefs
Tom King, Central Square Records
Alayna Hill Alderman, Richard Storms, Record Archive
Karl Groeger, Looney Tunes
Paul Epstein, Twist and Shout
Nancy Salzer, Salzer's Records
Rick Ziegler, Indy CD
Laura, Finders Records
Deon Borchard, Nic Fritze, The Long Ear
Chuck Oken, Rhino /Mad Platter
Allan Miller, John Bevis, Disc Exchange
Charlotte Kubat, Magnolia Thunderpussy
John Kunz, Waterloo Records
Chris Avino, Rainbow Records
Mike Fratt, Homers
Rich Koch, Off the Record
Skip Hermans, Skip's Record and CD World
Jason Patton, Oz Music
Quinn Bishop, Cactus Records
John Timmons, ear X tacy
Lou Russell, Lou's Records
Roger Weiss, Streetlight Records
Terry Currier, Music Millenium
Andrew Chinnici, Lakeshore Record Exchange
Michael Bunnell, The Record Exchange
Mike White, Boo Boo Records   
Steve Baron, CD Central   
Eric Levin, Criminal Records   
Pat O'connor, Culture Clash   
Dan Plunkett, End Of An Ear   
Paula Kret, Exile On Main St   
Chris Penn, Good Records   
Doyle Davis, Grimey's   
Travis Searle, Guestroom Records   
Jim Mcguinn, Hot Poop   
Isaac Slusarenko, Jackpot Records   
Jason Nickey & Heath Byers, Landlocked Music   
Todd Robinson, Luna Music   
Darren & Jim Blase, Shake It   
Anna & Chris Brozek, Slowtrain   
Kimber Lanning, Stinkweeds   
Tom 'Papa' Ray, Vintage Vinyl"

Related: Big Sean Hints At Cameo On Jay-Z & Kanye West's "Watch The Throne" Tour

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