Brow Beat

Kanye Spent $85,000 on Pusha-T’s Album Cover. He Paid Nothing for His Own.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 17:  Kanye West onstage at adidas Creates 747 Warehouse St. - an event in basketball culture on February 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for adidas)
Kanye West.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

It was only last week that Kanye West made news for paying $85,000 to license a photo of Whitney Houston’s bathroom for the cover of Pusha-T’s Daytona. But when it came to choosing the art for his own Ye, West went a substantially more economical route: According to a tweet from his wife, Kim Kardashian West, Kanye took the cover photo of a snow-capped mountain himself on the way to his debut listening party in Wyoming.*

Given that the cover art for West’s The Life of Pablo went through multiple changes before and after release, and still has at least two that are considered official, it’s entirely possible this won’t be Ye’s—or should that be I Hate Being Bipolar. Its Awesome.’s—final look. But it’s still staggering to contemplate the fact that we live in a world where a major album’s art can be determined only hours before it’s released, and while we’re puzzling over Ye’s lyrics, we can also spend a few minutes trying to figure out if West was shooting in portrait mode.

The cover to Ye

Correction, June 1, 2018: This post originally misidentified the location of the listening party as Wisconsin.