A Kanye West fan in Melbourne who named his burger restaurant after the rapper has reportedly been sent a cease and desist by his legal team, requesting its logo and burger names be changed.
Mark Elkhouri noticed that West had begun following his College Dropout Burgers business – named after the rapper’s 2004 debut album – on Instagram and was watching stories posted through the account, initially believing it to be a mark of approval. West is still currently following the business on Instagram.
However, a letter from West’s lawyers soon arrived, The Age reports. As a result, Elkhouri was forced to paint over a mural of Ye at the store, and get rid of its ‘College Dropout’-inspired teddy bear logo.
Additionally, the restaurant will be changing the names of multiple menu items that reference West’s music, such as their Golddigger, Good Morning, Cheezus and Parties in L.A. burgers.
In an Instagram post last month, Elkhouri announced the “removal of all references to Ye” from the business, saying they would “no longer assert that we are directly inspired by Ye or his music”. Elkhouri added that he had “no interest to engage in any legal proceedings” and would “continue to be inspired by and support” West.
The restaurant has been permitted to hold onto its name, with burgers now being named after prominent figures who dropped out of school, such as Mack Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino. Elkhouri himself left university early to pursue business.
“It’s pretty hard being a Kanye West fan with this situation, we have to respect his wishes and move forward,” Elkhouri told The Age. “The fact he was viewing our [Instagram] stories and was there had me believe he was a fan of us.”
Despite the cease and desist, Elkhouri said he remained a fan of the rapper. “Kanye West is the biggest artist of our time,” he explained. “Being a Kanye West fan has led me into this position where I have to still support him… I am extremely disappointed. There’s no doubt about that, but it doesn’t even come close to the impact that he’s had on my life.”
NME has reached out to representatives for West for comment and clarification.