He crossed a line. Earlier this week, rapper Kanye West sparked controversy when he announced the artwork for his new project as a producer on rapper Pusha T's record DAYTONA — which featured a photo of the late Whitney Houston's bathroom taken while she was in the throes of her drug addiction. The photo was allegedly secretly taken by a family member and was published by the National Enquirer. Kanye paid $85,000 for the rights to use the photo as the album art — and now, one of Whitney's cousins is speaking out.
"I was actually in shock because I’m in the music business," Damon Elliott told People, and mentioned that he even worked with Kanye once on a Keyshia Cole song. "To do something for a publicity stunt to sell records, it’s absolutely disgusting. It hurt my family and my daughter. It’s petty. It’s tacky."
Damon said he found out about Kanye's decision to use that photo for Pusha's album by his daughter, who called him and was very upset. "[She was] frantic. 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 said.
But Damon and his daughter weren't the only people who were shocked or hurt by the use of that controversial photo. Fans flooded Pusha's Instagram comments and slammed him and Kanye for using an image that depicted Whitney's struggle with drug addiction, with drug paraphernalia strewn across the messy countertop.
"You’re a disrespectful and immoral prick! You have no consideration for Whitney’s memory and her family," one fan wrote, and another commented, "That’s not art. That’s abusing someone else’s pain and you reaping the benefits. Disgusting and tasteless."
Whitney Houston was a music icon and she passed away back in 2012 and her body was found unconscious, floating face-down in a bathtub in a room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Her cause of death was drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use," according to CBS.