In a last-minute decision, Kanye West decided to use a photo of Whitney Houston’s drug-strewn bathroom on the cover of Pusha T’s new “Daytona” album, which was released Friday and which West produced. In a statement released by ET, a rep for Houston’s estate said they are “extremely disappointed in Kanye’s choice” to use the photo. “Even in Whitney’s death, we see that no one is exempt from the harsh realities of the world,” the statement continues.
According to Pusha, West paid $85,000 out of his own pocket to license the photo, which was taken in Houston’s Atlanta home in 2006 after an alleged drug binge. Pusha told radio host Angie Martinez Thursday that West 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.”
The image has been altered slightly from its original rendition, which appeared on the cover of the National Enquirer and was released to the public after Houston’s death in 2012: a beer can has been removed, presumably for copyright reasons.