Rapper and new father Travis Scott released his latest album, Astroworld, on Thursday and according to Vulture, the rapper received criticism for his decision to change the album cover. Originally, the album cover featured several scantily-clad women, including Amanda Lepore, a transgender legend. But by the time the record was released, the cover had been changed and Lepore had been removed. The photographer who shot the cover, Dave LaChapelle, shared a photo of the original cover on his Instagram.
Then, Scott posted the updated album cover on his Instagram. This time, Lepore was nowhere to be found.
Many fans noticed Lepore’s removal and took to social media. When LaChappelle addressed the revised cover, he stated that “Amanda was taken out because she just upstaged everyone.”
Lepore herself, who had not been aware that she was removed, posted about the incident on her Instagram: “A girl can’t help it! Too distracting for the eyes! Upstaged everyone in the photograph! Oh well……….. I love @david_lachapelle and @travisscott! Love and kisses????”
Scott decided to address the revised cover quickly, and by Saturday he had issued a statement on social media. He thanked the people who were apart of making the album and the cover and added that Astroworld was about love and not hate.
“Growing up I’ve been taught to accept everyone, not to cast people away but bring them in your home!” Scott added. “I have nothing but respect for the LGBTQ community. I want to use my voice to make it clear that everyone on this planet is as equal and fucking awesome to the next. Me and Lachappelle set out tooo (sic) create images that I grew up watching him create for years that inspire me today.”
Scott also stated that he felt Lepore “did upstage everyone even [himself].” He added a smiley face emoji and said that he was excited for people to see the album booklet that he and LaChappelle created that featured the individual images of from the album cover. He apologized for any “misunderstanding” and noted that “everyone is welcome to Astroworld.”
The 26-year-old rapper celebrated his album release while at Lollapalooza alongside his girlfriend and mother of his child, Kylie Jenner.
Scott, whose real name is Jacques Webster II, got his start in 2012 after he was signed to Epic Records. His first single, “Antidote” was featured on the Billboard Top 100. He has collaborated with several well-known rappers including T.I, Kanye West, Quavo, and 2 Chainz.