Houston’s estate registered its disapproval in a statement to ET on Tuesday. “Even in Whitney’s death, we see that no one is exempt from the harsh realities of the world,” the estate added.
West executive-produced Daytona and revealed the album cover on Twitter on May 24. Pusha-T told radio host Angie Martinez that the shot of Houston’s bathroom was not initially supposed to be the album artwork.
“[Originally], the artwork, it was pictures that we all agreed on,” the rapper explained. “[West] 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.”
West changed his mind at the last minute, according to Pusha-T. “1 a.m., my phone rings, no caller ID,” he continued. “[West says,] ‘Hey, I think we should change the artwork, and I like this other artwork.’ I said, ‘hey, I don’t want to pay for that, and I wasn’t even gonna ask you to pay for that.'” West replied, “this is what people need to see to go along with that music.” He covered the $85,000 licensing fee for the photo.
This was not the first time West showed that he was willing to spend money to make sure Daytona came out exactly the way he wanted. Pusha-T told Rolling Stone that his team was paying $7,000 a day to stay in the Wyoming resort where they completed the short LP.
“One day turns into 10 days of just [West] listening to samples,” Pusha-T remembered. “On one hand you’re like, ‘Damn … he’s really dialed in,” and the other hand I’m like, [whispers] ‘Fuck! This shit is like seven grand a day!'”
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) May 24, 2018