Since Kanye West announced the pending arrival of albums from artists on the G.O.O.D. Music imprint to executive producing Nas’ eleventh studio album, controversy has surrounded the 40-year-old’s musical journey. It reached a new dispute when the cover for Pusha T’s current album, Daytona, was revealed earlier this month.
After shelling out a reported $85,000 for the photo’s rights, West ultimately made the decision to display a picture of the late Whitney Houston’s disheveled bathroom counter. The image, which was featured in the National Enquirer in 2006, seemingly depicts a rough time in Houston’s life during her battle with drugs. The award-winning vocalist died in her hotel bathroom from accidental drowning on Feb. 9, 2012. Medical officials determined “atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use” played a role, CNN initially reported.
The resurfaced image not only strikes a negative chord with spectators, but Houston’s cousin, Damon Elliott, expressed his disappointment with West’s actions. In an interview with PEOPLE, the music producer – who’s also Dionne Warwick’s son – said once his daughter notified him of the situation, it immediately made him “sick.”
“To do something for a publicity stunt to sell records, it’s absolutely disgusting,” he stated. “It hurt my family and my daughter. It’s petty. It’s tacky.”
Following the resurfaced image’s aftermath, Elliott, who shared he previously collaborated with West, said he just wants to know why the “Jesus Walks” rapper thought this was the right thing to do. “What is the creative side of this?” he questioned. “What’s the point? It shows no creativity.”
While one of Houston’s family members doesn’t understand the reason behind West’s decision, the “I Will Always Love You” singer’s nephew, Gary Michael Houston, is in full support of the incident. In a statement issued to ABC’s Good Morning America, the 31-year-old said the blame should be placed upon the person who sold the photo to the National Enquirer.
“People should research that, because whoever exposed it are the people who violated her trust, mistreated her, and who should ultimately be held accountable for contributing to circumstances surrounding her demise,” he said. Houston also added that he grasped the correlation between Pusha T’s album’s content and the photo.