Kanye West forked over a pretty penny for permission to use a controversial photo on the cover of Pusha T's new album, which he produced.
The record simply titled DAYTONA dropped on Friday, just hours after West, 40, revealed the album artwork that is an image said to be of Whitney Houston's bathroom, which was taken by a family member in 2006 when the late singer was supposedly in the depths of her drug addiction.
During a radio interview with The Angie Martinez Show on Wednesday, Pusha T revealed that the rights to the image didn't come cheap after West opted to make some last-minute changes to the album cover.
“He wasn’t feeling it,” the "Mercy" rapper told Martinez. “[Originally], the 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 T, 41, said their initial agreement all changed when West called him late Tuesday night.
“One a.m., my phone rings. No caller ID. ‘Hey, yeah, I think we should change the artwork. And I like this other artwork. And this other artwork is 85 grand,'” he recalled of West's words.
“I said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to pay for that, and I wasn’t even going to ask you to pay for that. We picked what we picked, it’s here, it’s ready,'” he continued, adding that his producer insisted. “‘No, this is what people need to see to go along with this music. Imma pay for that.' I say, ‘You my man! You my man!' I love it, I actually do love it. [But] I absolutely did not want to pay for it.”
The National Enquirer showcased the contentious photo that was of Houston’s bathroom covered with beer cans, drug-covered spoons and drug paraphernalia on its cover in 2006, just a few years before the "I Will Always Love You" singer's tragic death. Houston, who long struggled with addiction, was discovered unresponsive in a bathtub at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2012 at the age of 48. Houston's untimely death was attributed to an accidental drowning combined with drug use.