The owner of the burger joint at the center of superstar rapper Kanye West’s legal threats has revealed his next steps.
The owner of Kanye West’s controversial hamburger shop will keep the store’s name and rename its products in honor of other famous high school dropouts after being legally threatened by the rapper.
West sensationally threatened legal action against the burger shop called The College Dropout — named after the rapper’s debut title — for showing his material without permission.
Located in the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe, the burger shop had burgers named after West’s songs and sported a mural of the rapper at the entrance.
Owner Mark Elkhouri has revealed he will be expanding the theme to other celebrated high school dropouts, including Quentin Tarantino, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.
The rethink forced by West’s legal demands could also be a blessing in disguise, giving Mr Elkhouri the chance to appeal to a wider audience by recognizing other famous dropouts.
“The brand has changed in some ways to celebrate these particular numbers now. Not everyone is a fan of Kanye West, so I honestly think this could be a blessing in disguise where I can probably appeal to a wider audience,” Elkhouri said.
“For the guys who are into technology, there’s Bill Gates, Steve Jobs.
“There’s more of a female presence now, Marilyn Monroe, guys involved in film, there’s a citizen named after Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt.
“It’s forced to expand the idea of being creative.”
West took legal action against the burger maker after following the store on Instagram for months.
Elkhouri only intended to honor West by using his material and had assumed the Instagram sequence was simply an appreciative wink, but the burger’s creator soon ran into trouble with the artist’s legal team. .
But he has resisted questioning his allegiance to West, remained a loyal fan and told NCA NewsWire how the rapper saved his life — and his important position in society with mounting mental health issues.
“I was so committed to getting this story out there about how important Kanye West is to society,” explained Mr. Elkhouri.
“We need that more than ever with mental health issues and Kanye talking about his own mental health out there.
“I suffered from depression myself years ago, so there are ways to say, well, Kanye really saved my life.
“I hope people start looking at his music catalog – visit it again, watch it again and try to see the same inspiration I see. Maybe it will work for them.”
Ironically, West has been hit with his own legal troubles for not getting permission lately, with the 45-year-old being charged with sampling the 80s dance hit “Move Your Body” without permission.
Mr Elkhouri has no intention of holding a grudge against the rapper despite being forced to change his business.
When asked whether naming burgers after Drake, West’s rapping rival, might be an appropriate answer, the shop owner reinforced his loyalty to the latter.
“I just have to say this is what it is and move on, move forward,” he said.
“When Kanye and Drake were shaking, I was on Kanye’s side the whole time. I told all my employees that I would refuse to play Drake songs during that entire process.
“I’m a real Kanye fan, and if you know Kanye fans, we’re very outrageous and loyal in some ways.
“If Kanye West is divorcing Kim Kardashian, then so are we.
“We don’t appreciate people talking negatively about Kanye West.”
“Zingers in Paris”, the “Gold Digger” and the “Heartless” were some of the burgers that paid tribute to West.
Ironically, The College Dropout was born out of a college, where Mr. Elkhouri started making burgers in a dessert shop.
He expanded his business after gaining popularity, decided to focus on burgers and create a restaurant more suited to a fast food restaurant.
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