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Stores' plea to Kanye and Jay-Z

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Jay-Z's collaboration with Kanye West will be released online first

Jay-Z's collaboration with Kanye West will be released online first

Jay-Z's collaboration with Kanye West will be released online first

Jay-Z and Kanye West's plan to release their much-anticipated joint album early online has been criticised by independent record shops in America.

Owners signed a letter that calls the exclusive deals with iTunes and Best Buy to sell Watch The Throne "bad news" and asks two of music's top stars to reconsider and allow more than 1,700 indie retailers equal access.

"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," the letter states.

"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."

Exclusive deals are now common for top acts and it's unclear why the letter's original writers, the organisers of Record Store Day, chose this project to object.

Jay-Z and Kanye have agreed to give iTunes customers access to Watch The Throne on August 8, four days ahead of everyone else. And Best Buy will exclusively sell a deluxe album til August 23 when other retailers will have access.

Jay-Z's spokesman had no comment and Kanye's did not immediately reply to an email.

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