This news came as a surprise, however, it is no joke. Tupac Shakur filed for unemployment benefits like the other 26.5 million Americans who have been affected by COVID-19.
Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky criticized Shakur during a press conference the was supposed to address how the state is trying to process all unemployment claims filed in March due to the nationwide coronavirus pandemic by the end of April.
Beshear referred to Shakur as of the “bad apples” for filing an unemployment claim under the name of the late rapper Tupac Shakur. He stated that these are the individuals who are responsible for slowing down the state’s unemployment processing. People who “think they’re funny” are to blame for making “thousands of other people wait” for their unemployment payments.
However, the Governor had to make a public apology because Tupac Malik Shakur is the real name of a Lexington resident. Shakur, 46 goes by Malik Shakur, worked as a cook before restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus shut down restaurants. He like many others filed for unemployment in March and has been waiting to receive his first check.
“I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” Shakur said. He wondered why his benefits were being held up but did not think the labor cabinet would declare his claim was a prank. “I’m hurt, I’m really embarrassed and I’m shocked,” Shakur said.
Governor Beshear’s office originally said the state could not verify the identity on the application but after an investigation, the state is working to resolve the claim.
Governor Beshear reached out to Shakur by phone personally on Tuesday to apologize for the comments and delay.
“I understand, he’s dealing with a lot, mistakes happen.” Shakur said.
In an effort to process unemployment claims more quickly, Kentucky has now opened a new hotline for people to call if they have yet to receive a payment.