“Why would he post that on his album cover? That’s really disgusting that he would do that,” Brown, 49, told Rolling Stone on Wednesday.
“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,” the singer said, adding, “He needs somebody to slap him up or something. And I’m just the person to do it.”
Houston, who struggled with drug addiction, was married to Brown from 1992 until 2007 and the pair had one child, daughter Bobbi Kristina, who died at age 22 in July 2015.
Three years before Bobbi Kristina’s death, Houston was found dead in a bathtub at The Beverly Hilton hotel in February 2012. The icon’s death was ruled an accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use also to blame. In August 2012, her autopsy stated she also had marijuana, Xanax, Benadryl and other medication in her system.
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In 2006, the National Enquirer featured the photo showing Houston’s bathroom filled with drug-covered spoons and drug paraphernalia on its cover, which had been taken secretly by a family member in 2006 as the late singer struggled with drug addiction. West paid $85,000 to license the photo but it is not clear who he paid to use the image.
On Friday, Houston’s cousin, Damon Elliott, slammed West for using the photo of the late singer’s drug-strewn bathroom, telling PEOPLE, “I immediately got sick to my stomach because it took me right back to six years ago. I was actually in shock. I didn’t think [West] would go this far in invading someone’s family privacy.”
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Houston’s nephew, Gary Michael, defended West, telling Good Morning America in a statement: “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).”
Gary Michael added, “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.”
Recently, Pusha T, 41, revealed that while he and West were originally intending to use different cover art for his new album DAYTONA, which West produced, the father of three ultimately changed his mind at the last minute.
“One a.m., my phone rings. No caller ID. [He says,] ‘Hey, yeah, I think we should change the artwork. And I like this other artwork. And this other artwork is 85 grand,’ ” Pusha T recalled during his May 23 appearance on The Angie Martinez Show.
“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,’ ” he continued, adding that West then offered to pay for the photo himself.