Read: Indie Music Stores’ Open Letter To Kanye And Jay-Z

    Well, it looks like Kanye West and Jay-Z, known now as the Throne, have upset indie music store owners with their Watch The Throne release plans. The owners were sparked by the people behind Record Store Day. Apparently, they aren’t too pleased that Yeezy and Jigga are letting Best Buy exclusively sell a deluxe version of the album for 10 days while iTunes will sell the album four days early. And to voice their concerns, the Record Store Day staff sent out an e-mail today asking indie store owners to sign an open letter to Kanye and Jay.


    You can read the letter below. What are your thoughts on their frustration with this issue? Do you think they’re valid? Watch The Throne drops digitally Aug. 8 while physical copies are due out Aug. 12.

    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