Lil Nas X has landed himself in controversy after launching a pair of "Satan Shoes" to celebrate the release of the highly-anticipated video for his single "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)." The two-time Grammy winner, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, dropped the video, announced over the weekend he would be releasing 666 pairs of the shoes, and social media immediately chimed in with plenty of backlash.
The shoes are a collaboration between the singer and New York-based art collective MSCHF. While the shoes were made using Nike Air Max 97s, Nike confirmed in a statement to NBC News they had no involvement with the shoes. The statement said, "we do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them." The controversial shoes feature a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18, which reads, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." Perhaps most controversial, though, is the fact that each shoe's air bubble sole contains 60 cubic centimeters of red ink and "one drop" of human blood. According to MSCHF, the blood was drawn from members of the MSCHF team.
MSCHF x Lil Nas X "Satan Shoes" 🏹
👟Nike Air Max '97— SAINT (@saint) March 26, 2021
🩸Contains 60cc ink and 1 drop of human blood
🗡️666 Pairs, individually numbered
🗓️March 29th, 2021 pic.twitter.com/XUMA9TKGSX
"Satan Shoes" were quick to go viral on social media, though the reaction was anything but flattering. The shoes have stirred backlash, with some taking issue with their numerous references to Satan and the use of actual human blood. The backlash has since been dubbed "Satanic Panic" on social media, the phrase trending on the platform as of Monday morning.
Are you serious??? Damn NIKE! Now I gotta go and replace all my gear! No way I back this garbage!— Kris Caffey (@KrisCaffey) March 27, 2021
"Our kids are being told that this kind of product is, not only okay, it's 'exclusive.' But do you know what's more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul," wrote South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem. "We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win." Noem's tweet, however, has been met with backlash of its own, with many questioning Noem's concern about a pair of shoes amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and other issues occurring in the world.prevnext
if i see anyone wear these ima assume u a demon— Ⓐ (@ayostaks) March 26, 2021
"Man this guy finessed everyone with his wholesome country hip-hop song and now he's promoting Satan," wrote another Twitter user. "Nah I'm good with this. Cancel this s–."prevnext
What idiot in @nike marketing dept thought this “Satan shoe” would be a good idea for their brand? Can you say career suicide? Just when we pondered If we would ever buy another pair of Nikes - well now we KNOW we will never buy another pair- just ugh https://t.co/sYGZhLY5wu— Calif01 (@Calif011) March 28, 2021
Amid the controversy, some people even threatened to stop buying Nike items, despite the company not having any direct involvement in the design. One person said that while they have been "buying [Nike] walking shoes for over 30 years because they worked best for my specific physical condition," their "current pair is the last I'll ever buy from them. Put the Betsy Ross shoes back in distribution and I may reconsider."prevnext
Hell is not a constant party and fun!! It’s a constant suffering and pain WITHOUT any sort of comfort nor rest. And it’s for ETERNITY. This life is temporary but eternity is forever. I pray you see it! Repent and turn to God. You all are on the wrong side!!— Angela (@angelapf90) March 28, 2021
"Take this as a sign, The end is near.. they are promoting satanism to take as many souls as they can," somebody else tweeted after seeing the shoe, going on to share, "'For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' Please seek Christ."prevnext
Who in their right God fearing right mind would wear this crap!!!! The mysic industry is trash and these kids are losing their souls to be in it. A very sad day for us to see this crap be manifest..— Lydia Thompson (@Hollywooddiva21) March 28, 2021
One person called the shoes "disgusting and disturbing" adding, "I f–ing can't. I blocked his a– on all socials too. Don't wanna see anything regarding him."prevnext
While some are opposed to the shoes due to their references to Satan, others are against them simply for the way they look. In a tweet, one person said, "Satanic nonsense aside... These are some seriously ugly, gaudy shoes… I can find nicer shoes in the clearance bin of off broadway, and they won't have blood in them. Although these shoes will probably end up there shortly anyway..."prevnext
Amid the backlash, Lil Nas X took to social media to respond. In a tweet, the singer shared the link to a video reading, "Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe." The tweet links out to a video showing the singer stating, "Ok guys, I see everybody's been talking about this shoe and I just want to come forward and say," before the clip cuts to a clip from the "Montero" music video.prev