In June, Ivanhoe burger shop College Dropout Burgers received a letter from Kanye West’s lawyers calling for the north-east Melbourne venue to paint over a mural of the rapper outside the eatery and to remove a crowned teddy bear logo – inspired by Kanye West’s debut album The College Dropout. The June cease-and-desist letter was a follow-up to one owner Mark Elkhouri received in February 2021.

Elkhouri was pretty bummed at the time; he told Broadsheet that Kanye , also known as 'Ye', is his “fucking hero” and the homage to his idol came out of respect, rather than competition. He also initially thought West had found his account and started watching his stories.

“What is happening here?? I must have ‘found God’, because @kanyewest has been deep in our stories. Over 10 story views now!!,” he said in a post in June. Sadly, the jubilation was short-lived.

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Now the fight has escalated, with West’s lawyers filing a 43-page document to the Federal Court accusing Elkhouri of misleading and deceptive conduct. The artist’s legal team has stated that the continued use of the business name College Dropout Burgers, and a burger called College Dropout (still on the menu), are continuing to cause damage to the musician.

The lawyers are reportedly calling for Elkhouri to “withdraw his Australian trademark application for College Dropout Burgers, destroy any material that references Ye or his branding, and pay their costs,” according to The Age.

On Monday October 24, College Dropout Burgers’ Instagram account posted a story stating that “College Dropout Burgers has respectfully removed all references to Ye, establishing a new direction, theme and brand identity.

“I can’t understand what would motivate a major artist to sue a small humble burger restaurant on the other side of the world.”

The story was signed off by Elkhouri, who also commented that it would be the only formal statement he’d be giving to the media – “unless someone offers 100 million dollars. Then I’ll sing like Whitney Houston in [The] Bodyguard,” he adds.

College Dropout Burgers’ new logo is one inspired by the late New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. In June, Elkhouri told Broadsheet this was in homage to the artist being another famous college dropout.