Kendrick Lamar and his likeness have been mimicked by a White talent show contestant in Poland, who donned Blackface and rapped racial slurs during a recent performance.
On Monday (Sept. 11), Kendrick Lamar was imitated by singer Kuba Szmajkowski, who performed K-Dot’s 2017 hit “Humble.” on season 19 of the Polish game show Your Face Sounds Familiar. Szmajkowski’s stunt—which involved him wearing Blackface, fake braids, and rapping racial slurs—ended up winning him the competition. Szmajkowski vowed to donate the prize money to the Prysta? Foundation to aid children with cancer, but the backlash was swift once word spread to the United States of Szmajkowski’s victory.
“Kendrick needs to file the nastiest copyright suit of all time,” one disgruntled fan wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “The Blackface was egregious enough but the attempt at ‘braids’ is nasty.”
Actor Pola Gonciarz also darkened her skin and performed as Beyoncé, singing her 2008 track “If I Were a Boy.” These two instances of Blackface also weren’t the first time Your Face Sounds Familiar has dabbled in controversy, with another previous contestant imitating Kanye West back in 2021.
The backlash against the West mimicry caused the game show to offer a statement, in which they said they were “very surprised” by the criticism.
“The intention of each star performing on the show, as well as of the whole production team, is to recreate the original performance in the most precise manner, while honouring the original artist,” the statement read. They then noted the other previous instances of Blackface on the show, with contestants having previously imitated Tina Turner, Missy Elliott, Stevie Wonder and more.
Watch the Polish talent show contestant perform as Kendrick Lamar below.
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Author: Mackenzie Cummings-Grady