On May 25, Pusha T will be releasing his new album Daytona with a recognizable photo as its cover art.
Daytona will feature a photo of Whitney Houston’s bathroom at the height of her drug use in 2006. In the photo, the bathroom is home to a multitude of drug-related materials, including a crack-smoking pipe, spoons and white powder. The photo itself was released shortly after her death in 2012.
According to Pitchfork, not only did Kanye West, who produced the album, come up with the cover idea, he also paid $85,000 of his own money to license it.
“This is what people need to see to go along with this music,” Kanye reasoned.
Folks quickly took to Twitter to express their disgust:
A photo of Whitney Houston's bathroom is the $85k artwork for @PUSHA_T's #Daytona album: https://t.co/5OkJ1JhdBY pic.twitter.com/gvNPpG3QI3— Missinfo (@Missinfo) May 24, 2018
To disrespect a titan like Whitney Houston, to reduce her legacy to a single image of a place and time in her life, is EXACTLY what Kanye seems to complain that the media does to him all the time. Indeed, the irony.— Toyin Ojih Odutola (@obia_thethird) May 24, 2018
This is awful. A photo of Whitney Houston's bathroom as your album cover?? What the actual fuck is wrong with Kanye? https://t.co/ncZz1EvWdu— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) May 24, 2018
Exploiting another human being’s & fellow musician’s addiction to get attention, huh @kanyewest?you can’t buy class, people…— james (@JamesPKrieger) May 24, 2018
Up in heaven all like, "who signed off for this? Where that damn Bobby at?!" pic.twitter.com/o7EGDo9AN0— i think im jon b (@bruceisdumb) May 24, 2018
This is disgusting. pic.twitter.com/AAO7N26ANK— travis. (@travisnewyork97) May 24, 2018
Urm try Kanye paying 80,000 for licensing of the photo knowing damn well people will be talking about it. Thus causing controversy= exploiting Whitney for publicity .— Edashwhy (@edashwhy) May 24, 2018
Its not provocative or thought provoking, it’s just really bad taste, I mean what was Whitney to him ? Probably nothing.— Skink Bag (@munichwasgreat) May 24, 2018
Who at the record label thought this was a good idea— teyana smith (@teyanasmith3) May 24, 2018
I'm curious about the ghoul who accepted $85k in licensing fees for the image to be used in this manner— Juell (@JuellStewart) May 24, 2018
And Pusha is allowing it . Who’s worse? I can’t wrap my head around any of it pic.twitter.com/783Spehwi1— Chun Li The Bad Guy (@__selfmedicated) May 24, 2018
We dont need to hear the music to know that yhe album cover is disrespectful and in poor taste . I hope whitney’s family attorney sends them a cease and desist letter— IamMonaé???? (@foreverlibra93) May 24, 2018
It is disrespectful as fuck to Whitney Houston’s legacy for Kanye to use a photo of her private bathroom as Pusha T’s album cover. You cannot use something as private and intimate as this to sell records. There is nothing artistic about this. It is just tacky/intrusive as fuck.— ???????? (@MJFinesseLover) May 24, 2018
[ Kanye on the phone to Pusha T at 1 a.m ]
Kanye: i found a photo of Whitney Houston's bathroom, would make a good cover art.
Pusha T: …..
Kanye: its filled with dope and other drugs
Pusha T: Say What ?!?! https://t.co/nqe5pMaEuc— ???? (@prslyy) May 24, 2018
Are people overreacting? Or is this acceptable?