In a surprise release, Florida-based rapper Pusha-T has dropped his much anticipated, Kanye West produced, album Daytona. The cover art, chosen by West, has already created controversy. In a last minute decision, West stayed true to his ostentatious and confrontational style by purchasing a 2006 photo of Whitney Houston’s drug littered bathroom counter to use as the album’s cover art.
Stereogum reports West called Pusha days before the album’s release to initiate the change, “1AM, my phone rings. There’s no caller ID. ‘Hey, yeah, I think we should change the artwork. And I like this other artwork. And this other artwork is 85 grand.’ I said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to pay for that and I wasn’t even going to ask you to pay for that. We picked what we picked, it’s here, it’s ready.’ ‘No, this is what people need to see to go along with this music. I’ma pay for dat.’ I say, ‘You my man! [laughs] You my man!’
The Virginia Pilot reports West paid an $85,000 licensing fee for the photograph, but it remains unclear whether he paid the Enquirer or the photographer, Tina Brown (sister of Bobby Brown).
On May 24, Pusha-T spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the controversial choice of album art saying it, “definitely does match the energy of my album.” He goes on to say,“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.”
Daytona is the follow up to the 2015 album King Push-Darkest Before Dawn and continues the artist’s inclination to rap about the simple things in life: drugs, money, and Rolex. According to Exclaim, Pusha says Daytona, “is for my family…high taste level, luxury, drug raps fans. Literally this is nothing more than the outcome of our musical therapy sessions.”
Pusha recently spoke to Rolling Stone about making the album with West, and his experience recording in Wyoming. “I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew we were going to work and we were going to get all the work done. Absolutely, positively nothing but focus in a place like that.”
Daytona contains seven tracks and features Rick Ross on “Hard Piano” and West on “What Would Meek Do?” Check out the tracklist and cover art here:
1. If You Know You Know
2. The Games We Play
3. Hard Piano
4. Come Back Baby
6. What Would Meek Do?