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Indie Record Stores Write Protest Letter To Jay-Z & Kanye West


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

With everything going digital in the music business, consumers may not be the only ones forgetting about record stores.

Jay-Z and Kanye West decided to give iTunes their Watch The Throne EP 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.

The independent record store owners have banded together to write an open letter to the Roc boys to let them know how this affects them and the industry.

With only 2,000 stores left that sell vinyl and CDs outside of the Target, Wal-mart and Best Buy stores, by losing exclusivity, the chances anyone will wait to buy the album from them is slim.

So the letter had been written, signed, and they hope to get it published in Billboard magazine. We’d love to see a response from Hov and Ye’s reps. Read the full 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

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”

Comment Comments: 5 Tags Tags: kanye west, jay-z, watch the throne, itunes

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Leave a Comment

  • SayWhat??

    Jay being as heartless as he is, will ignore them

  • Tim

    Bahahaha heartless?????

    You don’t know your history.

    Just cause he broke away from deadbeats, addicts, and leeches, means he’s heartless? Ok

    Check his charity work, water for africa, etc.

    Sad when people pop off at the mouth without knowing anything.

  • Real Talk

    Them community record stores charge $15-$16 dollars for a CD you can get for $9-$10 dollars at Best Buy or Target. I’m all for supporting the community but we shouldn’t have to lose money to do it!! I got one guy I go to because he can get me any classic CD in 2 days but I’m still over paying.

  • Law Student

    It’s too little too late. Even if Jay and Kanye wanted to go along with the independents at this point they can’t. They most likely have huge contracts with iTunes and Best Buy and if they try to back out now they will be the new owners of two BIG FAT lawsuits for breach of contract. So unfortunately, the independents are S. O. L.

    • brotherap

      “They most likely have huge contracts with iTunes and Best Buy and if they try to back out now they will be the new owners of two BIG FAT lawsuits for breach of contract.”

      They could also become the owners of one big fat lawsuit by the retailers for both civil and criminal conspiracy to violate Sherman Anti Trust Laws regarding restraint of trade in the marketplace. It appears that the element that puts this in play is the allegedly unfair time factor. The civil violation could cause triple damages if found liable, the conspiracy falling under the criminal side of the Sherman Laws could bring 7 yrs to both in a federal joint.