West is producing Daytona, Pusha T’s upcoming album, and on Thursday he tweeted the cover art, revealing that it is a bleak photograph of the late singer Whitney Houston’s bathroom covered in drug paraphernalia. The photo was taken secretly by one of Houston’s family members in 2006 and ran in the National Enquirer the same year, as Houston struggled with drug addiction.
In an interview with EW on Thursday, Pusha T told reporter Brian Josephs that the image “definitely does match the energy of my album.”
The rapper added, “I feel like the cover represents an organized chaos. The energy of the album is a bit chaotic, but it’s all in place. Looking at that cover, I’m sure whoever frequents that bathroom or area knew whatever they wanted to find and knew where it was.”
A day earlier, Pusha T appeared on The Angie Martinez Show to promote the new album and said the cover art was a last-minute change by West.
“He changed my artwork last night at 1 a.m. He wasn’t feeling it,” Pusha T told radio host Angie Martinez. “[Originally], the artwork — it was pictures that we all agreed on.” He also said West told him the photo had cost him $85,000.
“I love it, I actually do love it,” Pusha T said. “[But] I absolutely did not want to pay for it.”
Though West purportedly paid $85,000 to license the photo, it’s unclear whether he paid the National Enquirer or Houston’s sister-in-law Tina Brown, sister to Houston’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown.
Daytona is scheduled to drop Friday and will mark the first album release out of West’s Wyoming studio, where he’s also working on his own album. “Daytona is the first project out of Wyoming,” West tweeted Thursday. “I’m really proud of what we put together. We’ve spent a year and a half digging for samples and writing. I really appreciate the overwhelmingly positive response that we’ve been receiving.”