May 26, 2018
Pusha-T's new album "Daytona" is awash in critical acclaim, but the seven-track album, released on Friday, also drew attention for another reason — the album cover.
Pusha T on Daytona: Kanye West paid $85K for Whitney Houston bathroom photo on album
After a change the rapper (pictured in the photo at left) said was made by Kanye West, his producer, collaborator and label boss, just a day before the album's release, a 2006 tabloid photo of a bathroom used by Whitney Houston was splashed across the album.
The photo, which West shared in a tweet on Thursday before the album's release, is an edited version of a picture published by the National Enquirer that appears to show drugs and drug paraphernalia strewn across a bathroom counter in Houston's Atlanta home.
Pusha says West insisted on using the photo, personally footing an $85,000 bill to license the picture for the album.
The decision to use the photo, published in the National Enquirer in 2006, six years before Houston's death, was a last-minute move, according to Pusha-T, who shared the story of the album art after alluding to working with the volatile West on the album. (Pusha is signed to West's G.O.O.D. Music and president of the label.)
"He changed my artwork last night at 1 a.m.," Pusha, 41, told Angie Martinez on Thursday.
Why?
"'Cause he wasn't feeling it," he said, even after West had a hand in choosing the previous artwork. Pusha went on to say the new image cost "85 grand."
Pusha said he told West, 40, that he wasn't going to pay the license fee, but West defended his last-minute switch.
"'No, this is what people need to see to go along with this music,'" he says West told him. "'I'mma pay for that.'"
Despite the last-minute change, Pusha went on to say that he loves the new album cover.

"What type of artwork costs 85 grand?" Martinez asked.
"Umm, it's a picture," Pusha said, adding that the $85,000 was paid to license the image worldwide.
The title of the album had also been changed to "Daytona" from "King Push," but that didn't draw controversy. The selection of the tabloid photo, however, caused some raised eyebrows ahead of the album's Friday release.
Controversy
Before the album was widely lauded for its actual music on Friday, some tweeted their criticism of West's decision to use the image.
When it was originally published, the Enquirer purported to show a scene from Houston's bathroom that included "a crack pipe and cocaine-encrusted spoons."
Houston's 2012 death in a hotel bathroom, at the age of 48, was ruled an accidental drowning with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors. For years, the music icon, a Newark native, had struggled with drug addiction.
Some questioned whether or not the image was exploiting Houston, while others had no doubt.
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