Gary Michael Houston, the son of Houston’s older brother Michael says he isn’t as outraged and understands the messaging behind why the shocking photo was used. He issued a statement to Good Morning America about the situation.
“Not to be divisive, but I’m of a different mindset when it comes to situations like this,” he said a statement. “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).”
He continued: “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,” he continued.
Instead, Houston said blame should lay at the feet of the one who deceived Houston by taking the photo. According to reports, Bobby Brown’s sister took the pic and sold it to the tabloids for a hefty payday.
Houston said outrage should be leveled at the person who “violated the trust of my aunt by taking the photo and selling it to the tabloids.”
Pusha T shared that West, who contacted him about the decision in the wee hours of the night, reportedly paid about $85,000 out of pocket for a grainy image of Houston’s bathroom, circa 2006. TMZ conducted an analysis to reveal what we’re actually looking at are “a crack-smoking pipe, spoons, white powder, and booze.”
Houston’s take in the controversial album cover differs from Damon Elliott, who is Houston’s cousin and a music producer. Elliott who has worked with Yeezy, said the distasteful picture even took him by surprise.
“I was actually in shock because I’m in the music business,” Elliott told People. “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.”
Elliott said his daughter in fact called him upset about the photo.
“[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.
Elliot said that he wants to see the image switched out for something else as well as an apology from West.
That hasn’t happened yet and we won’t hold our breath.