Polish Karaoke Show Contestant Wears Blackface To Imitate Kendrick Lamar

A Polish game show has come under scrutiny after a recent episode featured a contestant who wore Blackface and used the word “ni**a” while performing as Kendrick Lamar.

The show, titled Your Face Sounds Familiar, aired a performance by Polish singer Kuba Szmajkowsk, who imitated Lamar’s likeness by dressing similarly to the rap star and wearing braids on his head. Szmajkowsk hit the stage for a rendition of Lamar’s 2017 single “HUMBLE,” ultimately being declared the winner of the karaoke-style competition.

A clip of the episode surfaced online and captured the contestant flanked by background dancers in front of a checkered black-and-white background while mirroring the rapper’s mannerisms. Reciting the lyrics from the song’s opening verse, Szmajkowsk’s impersonation captured the delight of fans in the audience, who were seen dancing and cheering him along.

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After being chosen as the winner of the episode, the contestant revealed that he would be donating his prize money to the Przystań Nadziei Foundation, an organization that focuses on assisting children diagnosed with cancer.

Currently in its 19th season, Your Face Sounds Familiar has produced multiple instances in which guests on the show have worn Blackface while performing as Black artists and musicians. On the same episode that Szmajkowsk imitated Lamar, Polish actress Pola Gonciarz appeared as Beyoncé, performing the singer’s 2008 single “If I Were a Boy” while wearing Blackface.

In 2021, actor Tomasz Ciachorowski did an impersonation of Kanye West while appearing on Your Face Sounds Familiar, performing his Graduation single “Stronger” on the show. Upon Szmajkowsk’s performance going viral on social media, a number of users were displeased with the singer’s usage of the makeup, which is deeply rooted in the racially-driven, stereotypical portrayals of Black people.

One person even suggested that Lamar take legal action against the show. “Kendrick needs to file the nastiest copyright suit of all time. I’m talking not even able to say his name no more on some Voldemort sh*t.” 

See more clips from Your Face Sounds Familiar below.

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