Lil Nas X recently launched a pair of “controversial Satan Shoes” featuring a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross and a drop of actual human blood — and they sold out almost immediately.
The sneakers are part of a collaboration between the singer and MSCHF, a New York-based art collective. Featuring a black and red colorway, the kicks were made using Nike Air Max 97s, though Nike has been clear that they have nothing to do with the sneakers, as CNN reports.
Per CNN, Nike said it was not involved in creating the modified sneakers, saying “We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”
Today, MSCHF confirmed that along with not having involvement from Nike in “any capacity,” the limited-edition “drop” of 666 pairs sold out in less than a minute. The cost $1,018 a pair, and the price is a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18 that reads: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” The art collective added that each shoe’s air bubble sole contains 60 cubic centimeters of red ink and “one drop” of human blood. A MSCHF spokesperson said the blood had been provided by members of the art collective saying, “We love to sacrifice for our art.”
The shoes sparked outrage and criticism online over the weekend from a number of high-profile political and religious figures. Evangelical pastor Mark Burns described the sneakers in a tweet as “evil & heresy.”
These #SatanShoes by #Nike & #LilNasX with 666 and a drop of human blood in the sole is a reason why we Christians must be prayed up ready to battle in the spirit with the Voice of the Holy Spirit. This is evil & heresy and I pray that Christians rise up against this. pic.twitter.com/u7CK3NCIy7— Pastor Mark Burns (@pastormarkburns) March 27, 2021
Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota tweeted against the shoes saying,” 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. 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,” to which Lil Nas X slammed back:
ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job! https://t.co/qaor6W0B9C— nope 🏹 (@LilNasX) March 28, 2021
Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, posted a 46-second video to his YouTube account titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe,” which has now been viewed almost 3 million times. After a few seconds, the apparent apology cuts to a scene from his new music video, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” showing him dancing provocatively with Satan.
The day after the release of the “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” music video, Lil Nas X responded to the backlash over its rebellious religious imagery tweeting, “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s— y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay. So i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”
Nas tweeted this as a joke to make up for the “Satan Shoes:”
we have decided to drop these to even the score. damn y’all happy now? pic.twitter.com/RGpCiiRbGb— nope 🏹 (@LilNasX) March 28, 2021
In 2019, MSCHF released limited edition “Jesus Shoes” — also made from Nike Air Max 97 sneakers — which featured a steel crucifix and “holy water” sourced from the Jordan River.