Ever since his still-unsolved murder in 1996, like Elvis, a number of people have claimed that Tupac Shakur is alive and in hiding. Maybe that’s what Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was thinking when he got wind that ‘Pac had applied for unemployment benefits in the Bluegrass state in light of the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the American economy.
On Monday, Beshear said in press conference that someone had used the late rapper’s name to get benefits, calling that person one of the “bad apples” that was using a fake name to fleece the state, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. “We had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky,” Beshear said during the Monday presser. “And that person may have thought they were being funny, they probably did. Except for the fact that because of them, we had to go through so many other claims.”
The only problem was that there is a man named Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, who lives in Lexington and is currently laid off from his job as a cook at Alfalfa’s and Lynagh’s. “I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” Shakur told the paper, explaining that he’s been waiting for a month to get confirmation of his benefits, never imagining that it was because someone thought he was possibly an imposter.
“I’m hurt, I’m really embarrassed and I’m shocked,” said Shakur, who usually goes by Malik. “He needs to apologize. That’s just my name.” According to Beshear’s office, the state couldn’t verify Shakur’s identity at first and after the paper gave the governor’s office the man’s phone number on Monday night the claim began to get processed.
The Herald-Leader reported that Beshear called Shakur on Tuesday morning and in a press conference later that day he promised that the state would expedite the man’s claims. “I talked to him on the phone today, and I apologized,” Beshear said. “I told him how it happened, but I owned it. It’s my fault. He was gracious. I said I’m sorry if I embarrassed him or caused him any attention he didn’t want, and he was very kind. He ended the call, ‘God bless.'”