Pusha-T discussed the cover in a new interview with Angie Martinez, as Pigeons & Planes reports. He claimed Kanye West pushed hard for the picture's inclusion – Pusha T said Kanye called him at 1 a.m. on Wednesday and convinced him to discard the previously approved album covers in favor of the Houston bathroom photograph. "This is what the people need to see to go along with this music," Pusha says Kanye told him.
The 2006 photograph was reportedly released after Houston's death in 2012, Pitchfork writes. The picture came with a $85,000 licensing fee, which Pusha did not want to pay, so Kanye personally covered the cost himself.