Kanye West has come under fire from late singer Whitney Houston’s cousin, after reportedly paying $85,000 to use a photo depicting Houston’s bathroom strewn with drug paraphernalia as the cover art for Pusha T’s new album “Daytona.”
Speaking to People, Houston’s cousin, Damon Elliott, called the move “disgusting.”
“To do something for a publicity stunt to sell records, it’s absolutely disgusting,” Elliott said. “It hurt my family and my daughter. It’s petty. It’s tacky.”
Elliott said that he only learned of the album artwork when his daughter called him in a “frantic” state.
“She sent me this picture from the album cover and I immediately got sick to my stomach because it took me right back to six years ago,” he continued.
Seeming to reference West’s recent outbursts, Elliott added, “I’ve watched the train wreck happening, but I didn’t think he’d go this far in invading someone’s family privacy.”
Houston died in 2012, just prior to the Grammy Awards. The singer was found submerged in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California, by a member of her personal staff.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office deemed her death at age 48 an accidental drowning, but said that cocaine use and heart disease also contributed to her demise.
The singer also had marijuana, Xanax, Benadryl and the muscle relaxant Flexeril in her system, the coroner’s office said, but those substances did not play a role in Houston’s death.
According to People, the photo was first published in 2006 by the National Enquirer.
“I just want him to tell me why he did it,” Elliott continued. “What is the creative side of this? What’s the point? It shows no creativity.”
In an interview with “The Angie Martinez Show” to promote the West-produced “Daytona,” released this week, Pusha T said that West made a last-minute switch in the album’s artwork.
“He changed my artwork last night at one a.m. … One a.m., my phone rings. No caller ID. [West said] ‘Hey, yeah, I think we should change the artwork. And I like this other artwork.’ Now this other artwork is 85 grand,” Pusha T said.
Adding that West paid for the new artwork, Pusha T recalled West saying, “This is what people need to see to go along with this music.”