Kanye West's use of a controversial photo of Whitney Houston's bathroom for the artwork for Pusha-T's latest album DAYTONA received backlash not only across social media but from the late R&B legend's estate as well. In an exclusive statement to Entertainment Tonight, the estate is reportedly "extremely disappointed in Kanye's choice" to use the image. "Even in Whitney’s death, we see that no one is exempt from the harsh realities of the world," the statement said.
Damon Elliott, Houston's cousin, told People the use of the photo hurt his family, and they were never consulted about it. "To do something for a publicity stunt to sell records, it's absolutely disgusting. It's petty. It's tacky," he said.
West allegedly paid $85,000 for the rights to use the photo, which was snapped in 2006 by a family member and shows drugs strewn around the messy space. The cover art was apparently a last-minute decision in the first place, according to Pusha-T who spoke about the switch in a recent interview with Angie Martinez. "1 a.m., my phone rings. No caller ID. [Kanye said], 'Hey, yeah, I think we should change the artwork.' And, 'I like this other artwork. And this other artwork is 85 grand,'" he explained. "I said, 'We picked what we picked, it’s here, it’s ready. [Kanye said] 'No, this is what people need to see to go along with this music. Imma pay for that.'"
Pusha has his own problems stemming from the release of the album after Drake responded to his jabs from the track "Infrared" with "Duppy Freestyle." While it hasn't amounted to a consistent back and forth just yet, Pusha's brother No Malice has already gone on record to say the beef "makes for good hip-hop."
There's no word on whether or not the Houston estate will pursue legal action over the use of the photo.