Kentucky Governor Andy Bashear apologized to a local resident bearing the famous rapper’s name after he used Shakur as an example of “bad apples” using fake names for unemployment filings, according to a report.
“We had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky,” Beshear said Monday night, referencing the West Coast icon who was killed in the 90s, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Except gaining unemployment benefits are no laughing matter for Shakur, 46, who lives in Lexington, the paper said.
Shakur, who goes by his middle name, “Malik,” worked as a restaurant cook before the coronavirus pandemic shut down shops across the state, according to the outlet.
“I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” Shakur told the paper.
Shakur is among more than 20 million Americans seeking jobless aid as COVID-19 has shut down the country.
He applied for unemployment insurance as soon as he could on March 13, and wondered why the money hadn’t come more than a month later until he realized it was because the government thought it was a prank.
“I’m hurt, I’m really embarrassed and I’m shocked,” Shakur told the Herald-Leader. “He needs to apologize. That’s just my name.”
Beshear reportedly called Shakur personally to apologize Tuesday morning. His office told the paper it originally could not verify Shakur’s identity and that it was now working to process his claim.
Shakur forgave Beshear for the mistake and was appreciative for the call, the Herald-Leader reported.
“I understand, he’s dealing with a lot,” Shakur said. “Mistakes happen.”