From College Dropout to Federal Court dropout, the American rapper best known as Kanye West has had his case against a Melbourne burger joint thrown out. Now known as Ye, the rapper sued College Dropout Burgers and owner Mark Elkhouri, arguing misleading and deceptive conduct by the burger restaurant named after his 2004 record The College Dropout. He accused the suburban restaurant and Elkhouri of implying they were affiliated with Ye or had his sponsorship or approval.But after filing the case in October 2022, Ye and his lawyers went quiet. No one appeared in the Federal Court on Friday, when Elkhouri’s lawyers successfully sought for the case to be dismissed, and an order that Ye pay their costs. Justice Shaun McElwaine said such orders so early in a case should only be used sparingly, but Ye and his lawyers had already defaulted on legal obligations three times and had not responded after being notified of the application on Tuesday.
“One would have thought if he was seeking to preserve his claims and prosecute this proceeding he might have thought it necessary to appoint a lawyer to appear before me today. He has not done so,” Justice McElwaine said.
After filing the proceeding, Ye had taken “absolutely no steps” to progress it, he said. The proceedings have left Elkhouri out of pocket, but he wouldn’t say how much. He’s not holding his breath that Ye will pay him back.Whether the College Dropout name will stick, Elkhouri isn’t sure yet.
“Now that I’m not bullied to do anything about it, perhaps I might change the name, but if I do it’s on my terms,” he said. At the end of the day, Elkhouri says he’s still a fan of Kanye West who in many ways inspired the person he became, but doesn’t support “this Ye character” he has become or the narrative he has tried to portray.
Kanye West formally changed his name to Ye in 2021, saying the new name was a reflection of “our good, our bad, our confused, our everything”.
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Elkhouri said he would never deny the impact people like Kanye West had on his life, but the court experience led him to look closer to home for role models, like his wife Amanda and father Sammy.
“I’ve come to a realisation that my true idols are the people that are close to me … these are the people who I look up to on a daily basis and these are people who are realistic idols – I can follow in their footsteps,” he said. And he’ll still throw in a Kanye reference where he wants to. “The question everyone keeps asking is ‘what I would have done if we didn’t win’ – I guess we’ll never know,” he said, quoting Ye’s 2005 Grammy Award-winning speech for The College Dropout.