×

Kanye West Paid $85,000 to Use Photo of Whitney Houston’s Drug-Strewn Bathroom on Pusha T Album Cover

Kanye West paid $85,000 to license a photo of Whitney Houston’s drug-filled bathroom for the cover of Pusha T’s new album “Daytona,” which was released today. The image, which was taken in Houston’s Atlanta home in 2006 after an alleged drug binge, features a multitude of drugs and paraphernalia. Pusha told radio host Angie Martinez Thursday that West, who produced the entire album, changed the artwork at the very last minute.

“He changed my artwork last night at 1 a.m. He wasn’t feeling it,” Pusha told Martinez. “The [original] artwork — it was pictures that we all agreed on. He picked the photographer, I took these pictures, I was like, ‘Yo, these are fresh.’ I picked all of these pictures out, he had a little edit to it, how he wanted the actual grading of the picture to look. Picked the picture, great, we look, boom, boom, boom, it’s good.”

Pusha said that West paid for the artwork out of his own pocket. “This is what people need to see to go along with this music,” Pusha quoted West as saying.

The image has been altered slightly from its original rendition, which appeared on the cover of the National Enquirer: a beer can has been removed, presumably for copyright reasons.

Pusha also said that West’s own album, which is due next week, may clarify some of the rapper’s recent controversial comments about Donald Trump and other matters, although he is somewhat vague on how that clarification takes place.

“He’s speaking on a lot on this album,” he said. “And I feel like he even speaks it clearer and messages it clearer and better through the music. That’s where you can see a bit of like, OK, you’re asking these questions. You’re saying these things to get this type of emotion or just get an answer for something else. I feel like it’s better there.”

VARIETY VIDEO:

More Music

  • Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Takes Beatles' 'White Album'

    Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Gets Back to '68 by Touring Beatles' 'White Album'

    The 50th anniversary re-release of 1969’s “Abbey Road” may be just days away, but that doesn’t mean Beatles fans have been there and done that when it comes to celebrating ’68. Todd Rundgren, the Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz, Badfinger’s Joey Molland and several other name musicians of a certain vintage are teaming up to go out [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

  • 'Downton Abbey' Music Gets 'Bigger, Better,

    As 'Downton Abbey' Hits the Silver Screen, the Music, Too, Gets 'Bigger, Better, Grander'

    When “Downton Abbey” fans hear that familiar strings-and-piano theme, a Pavlovian response ensues: Get to the television immediately, because you don’t want to miss a minute of the addictive Crawley family melodrama to follow. This week, with the “Downton Abbey” movie reaching theaters on Friday, fans can’t wait for their fix of Lady Mary and [...]

  • Saweetie

    Saweetie's 'My Type' Is a Smash, but Is it Too Provocative for Top 40?

    Saweetie’s “My Type” is a smash. The high-energy, up-tempto, bad bitch anthem has proven to be an undeniable force. Having won the hearts of TikTok users, radio (rhythmic, urban and now Top 40, logging more than 81,000 combined spins, according to Mediabase) and streaming, where BuzzAngle Music records 160 million U.S. streams to date and [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Peter Coyote Riffs on 'Country Music' and How He Admires and Challenges Ken Burns

    Though an instantly recognizable face from films such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Erin Brockovich,” it is Peter Coyote’s voice — a coolly authoritative baritone with a Zen master’s holy roll — that has endeared him to documentary lovers and makers. Alrhough director-writer Alex Gibney used Coyote’s wisened narration for “Enron: [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal With Record Labels on Music Videos

    SAG-AFTRA has reached an agreement with the major record labels on a three-year successor contract to their music video agreement. The union announced Friday that the deal achieves important economic and safety gains for performers working in music videos. Details of the new agreement will not be released until after it is reviewed by the [...]

  • Album Review: Samantha Fish’s ‘Kill or

    Album Review: Samantha Fish’s ‘Kill or Be Kind’

    At a time when rock music remains in a deep recession — to put it politely — there are few more encouraging sights to see than a badass, slide-guitar-wielding female from Kansas City lobbing some blueswailing rock and roll. That’s exactly what Samantha Fish has been serving up for the better part of a decade, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content