Thu. Aug 18th, 2022

Mark Elkhouri thought that creative idol Kanye West following his College Dropout Burgers business on Instagram could be a stamp of approval, but then a letter from West’s lawyers arrived showing the artist was far from rapt.

The cease and desist notice has forced Elkhouri to paint over a mural of the US rapper, also known as Ye, at the store in Melbourne’s north-east and erase a crowned teddy bear logo inspired by artwork from West’s debut College Dropout album.

College Dropout burger owner Mark Elkhouri has received a cease and desist letter from Kanye West's lawyers.  Mark was forced to paint over a mural, change the name of the burgers and change the logo at his Ivanhoe business.

College Dropout burger owner Mark Elkhouri has received a cease and desist letter from Kanye West’s lawyers. Mark was forced to paint over a mural, change the name of the burgers and change the logo at his Ivanhoe business.Credit:Joe Armao

The Ivanhoe store is also abandoning menu names playing on West song titles, including a fried chicken burger called Golddigger, a breakfast burger named Good Morning, and a Cheezus burger named after album Jesus.

“It’s pretty hard being a Kanye West fan with this situation, we have to respect his wishes and move forward,” Elkhouri said.

“The fact he was viewing our [Instagram] stories and was there had me believe he was a fan of us. ”

The store will continue to be named College Dropout Burgers but will instead serve up meals named after famous people who dropped out of education including Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Albert Einstein.

The logo, based on West's College Dropout bear, has to change.

The logo, based on West’s College Dropout bear, has to change. Credit:Joe Armao

Elkhouri left university early to pursue business, owning dessert bars at La Trobe and RMIT universities that he shut down during the pandemic. Those experiences and Elkhouri’s love of West’s music and creativity gave birth to the burger store.

“Kanye West is the biggest artist of our time,” Elkhouri said, adding he found parallels in West’s music with his own life after his mother died in 2009.

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