According to the most recent statistics, more than 26.5 million Americans have applied for unemployment since late March, when states began to go on lockdown to combat. Some of those applications are undoubtedly scams, which was the premise for the following quip from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear Monday: “We had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky. That person probably thought they were being funny, they probably did — except for the fact that because of them, we’ve got to go through so many other claims, and one person thinking that they were funny, using somebody else’s identity is going to make tens of thousands potentially of other people wait.”
The only problem with the governor’s remark is that there really is a Lexington resident named Tupac Shakur, and he really did submit one of 100,000-plus applications for unemployment benefits in his state last week after being laid off from his job as a cook at Alfalfa’s and Lynagh’s restaurant. Shakur, 46, goes by his middle name, Malik, and is not related to the late rap legend of the same name. “I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” he told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “I’m hurt, I’m really embarrassed and I’m shocked. He needs to apologize. That’s just my name.”
Shakur did indeed receive an apology from the Governor today. “The governor was advised that a fraudulent claim had been filed in the name of Tupac Shakur,” Beshear spokesman Sebastian Kitchen told the Louisville Courier Journal. “It now appears that a Kentuckian by that name has filed a claim. This morning, Gov. Beshear called Mr. Shakur to apologize. The Office of Unemployment Insurance is working to resolve the claim.”
In his daily coronavirus update today, Beshear confirmed the apology and said Shakur was “gracious” and “very kind.” Shakur told the Herald-Leader he forgives the governor: “I understand, he’s dealing with a lot. Mistakes happen.”
I bet the guy in Iowa who was fired partially because of his overzealous 2Pac fandom is getting a huge kick out of this.