Jay-Z and Kanye West versus Independent Music Stores

Independent music stores have a bone to pick with Jay-Z & Kanye West. Anticipation for the “Watch the Throne” album has been extremely high since it was first announced that Jay and Yeezy would be doing a joint album. I’m positive that the two put their all into it’s production and therefore want to reap as many benefits as they can. So, of course, they have set up exclusive deals with Best Buy and iTunes. Best Buy is undoubtedly paying the artists to have a deluxe edition of the album sold only at their stores starting on August 12th and ending on August 23rd. And iTunes is paying them to have an early edition of the album available for download only on their site, starting on August 8th. This is great for Jay & Yeezy’s finances, but not so great for independent music stores who don’t have millions to spend on exclusive deals like Best Buy and iTunes do. Music store owners gathered together and constructed a letter to complain about how this would affect their business. Billboard posted the letter. Here is the jist of what they wrote:

“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.”

Well damn, that plea was so well written and genuine that I feel like I should buy my copy of the album from an independent store. But what matters more than my feelings is Jay & Kanye’s feelings. Will they help the independent brothers out or will they ignore them for the money? What do you think they should do?