Def-Jam president/CEO and rapper Jay-Z has declined to license his latest album through iTunes.

One of the most financially successful hip-hop artists in the US, Jay-Z recently released his tenth studio album, American Gangster, a collection he describes as a concept album that captures his experiences as a street hustler.

The rapper argues that iTunes' insistence that artists must sell the individual tracks comprising an album individually as well as by album is to blame, saying: "Just as movies are not sold scene by scene, this collection will not be sold as individual singles."

"No one can dictate to an artist, any artist, how they should express themselves," the rapper said.

The album is available (though not on a track by track basis) from competing digital music services, such as Amazon, in the US. The album (in its entirety and also on a track by track basis) is also likely to appear on file-sharing and BitTorrent websites in future.