‘Kanye West actually saved my life’: Why burger shop owner is moving on

The Victorian man who Kanye West legally threatened for running a burger shop in the rapper’s honor hopes society continues to hold “Ye” in high esteem, revealing the artist effectively saved his life.

West sensationally threatened legal action against the burger shop dubbed The College Dropout – named after the rapper’s debut title – because it featured his material without permission.

The burger shop,in the Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe,had burgers named after West’s songs and sported a mural of the rapper at its entrance.

West took legal action against owner Mark Elkhouri in response, having followed the burger shop for months on Instagram.

Mr. Elkhouri had only ever intended to honor West using his material and assumed the Instagram follow served as an appreciative nod back. Still, the burger creator soon found himself in hot water with West’s legal team instead.

Camera IconThe man behind The College Dropout has revealed the rapper making legal threats against him had effectively saved his life. Twitter Credit: Supplied

Mr. Elkhouri, who dropped out of university, will retain the store’s name and rebrand his burgers after other famous college dropouts, including Quentin Tarantino, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates.

But he has resisted questioning his allegiance to West, remaining a loyal fan and opening up to NCA NewsWire about how the rapper helped save his life – and his important standing in society with mental health issues on the rise.

“I was so committed to wanting to push this narrative out there of how important Kanye West is to society,” Mr . Elkhouri explained.

Camera IconThe Kanye mural at the shop’s entrance has now been painted over. Supplied Credit: Supplied

“We need that more than ever with issues in mental health, and Kanye talking about his mental health out there.

“I suffered from the depression years ago, so there are ways in saying, well, Kanye saved my life.

“I hope people go and see his music catalog – revisit it, check it out again, and try atosee the same inspiration t see. Maybe it might work for them.”

West has ironically been struck with legal trouble for failing to gain permission recently, with the 45-year-old being sued for sampling 1980s dance hit “Move Your Body” without consent.

burger shop

Mr. Elkhouri isn’t planning on holding a grudge against the rapper despite being forced to pivot his business.

When quizzed whether naming burgers after Drake – West’s rapping rival – could be a fitting response, the shop owner reinforced his loyalty to the latter.

“I’m just going to have to say this is what it is, and move on, move forward,” he said.

“When Kanye and Drake were beefing, I was on Kanye’s side the whole time. I told all my staff I’d refuse to play any Drake songs during that entire process.

“I am a true Kanye fan, and if you know Kanye fans, we’re very outrageous in some ways and loyal.

“If Kanye West is going through a divorce with Kim Kardashian, so are we.

“We don’t appreciate people talking negatively about Kanye West.”

Camera IconCollege Dropout burgers previously featured Kanye logos on their buns. Supplied Credit: Supplied

“Zingers in Paris”, “Gold Digger,” and the “Heartless” were some of the burgers paying tribute to West.

The College Dropout was ironically born at a university, where Mr. Elkhouri started making burgers in a dessert shop.

After gaining popularity, he expanded his operations, focusing on burgers and creating a restaurant more fitting of a fast-food establishment.

The rethink forced by West’s legal demands could also prove a blessing in disguise, with Mr. Elkhouri buoyed at the opportunity to appeal to wider audiences by recognizing other famous dropouts.

“The brand has shifted in some ways to celebrate these specific figures. Not everyone is a Kanye West fan, so I think this may be a blessing in disguise where I can probably appeal to a wider audience.

Camera IconBurgers at The College Dropout ironically gained their reputation at a university shop. Supplied Credit: Supplied

“For the guys involved in tech, there’s Bill Gates, Steve Jobs.

“There’s more of a female presence now, Marilyn Monroe, guys that are involved in film, there’s a burger named after Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt.

“It’s forced to extend out the idea of being creative.”

Bella E. McMahon
I am a freelance writer who started blogging in college. I am fascinated by human nature, politics, culture, technology, and pop culture. In addition to my writing, I enjoy exploring new places, trying out new things, and engaging in conversations with new people. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, playing music, making crafts, writing, traveling, and spending time with my family.