September 5, 2018
Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images
Since the release of rapper Pusha T‘s album Daytona (the cover art was the infamous photo of Whitney Houston‘s drug-laced vanity), the conversation surrounding Kanye West‘s use of the image (Pusha is signed to Ye’s label G.O.O.D Music and also serves as the executive producer of the record) is heating up.
Last week Bobby Brown told Rolling Stone he wanted to “slap” the 21-time Grammy winning rapper for licensing the image.
“Why would he post that on his album cover? That’s really disgusting that he would do that. That’s in really bad taste. Something should happen to Kanye. He’s already crazy. I knew that when I first met him. Now he’s pushing the bar a little bit. He needs somebody to slap him up or something. And I’m just the person to do it.”
But while he had an issue with it, Houston’s nephew, Gary Michael, didn’t.
“Not to be divisive, but I’m of a different mindset when it comes to situations like this. People will automatically look to people like Pusha T and Kanye West and try to place blame or say they have ill or malicious intent to gain publicity. But I get it. I get the correlation (sans my aunt but the photo itself). Bottom line — they are artists and in this day and age, if they can afford to pay someone for usage of that photograph in order to convey a visual message to accompany their musicianship…then so be it.”
One person who does find the image problematic, is Tina Brown, Bobby’s sister.
In a new interview with The Blast, Whitney’s former sister-in-law, who sold the photo to the National Enquirer in 2006 for 85,000, regrets doing so. “During the time the picture was taken, in 2006, my sister Whitney and I were at a very low and self-destructive point in our lives, it was not only her mess, it was mine as well. Together, she and I decided to take the pictures in the bathroom and share with the world, the pain we were going through … it was a united cry for help.”
She also says that Kanye’s use of the photo has opened “old wounds” and would like to know why the image is significant to him.
Houston’s name has been in the media over the last few months as a new documentary drops this summer. Whitney is the first and only film to be approved the by the singer’s estate and features interviews from the people who knew her best. It also reveals Whitney was sexually abused by Dionne Warwick‘s sister. Watch here.
TELL US: Fair or foul – should Kanye be the blame or should Tina take ownership?