Lil Nas X is releasing a pair of unofficial “Satan Shoe” Nikes — although you won’t find them at your local Nike retailer. The design, which features an Air Max 97 silhouette with a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross, and a drop of real human blood, is part of a collaboration between the rapper/singer and the New York-based art collective MSCHF.
“We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF,” a representative for Nike told Rolling Stone in a statement. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.” MSCHF also confirmed that the shoes were unaffiliated with Nike.
The Satan Shoes are a tie-in for Lil Nas X’s recent “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” music video, in which he gives the devil a lap dance before snapping his neck. The design is launching in a limited-edition drop of 666 pairs, and will be priced at $1,018 a pair, a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18 (also printed on the shoe), which reads, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
The “real human blood,” by the way, was donated by members of MSCHF, according to a spokesperson for the collective. (“We love to sacrifice for our art,” they told CNN.) The blood will be mixed into the red ink found on the bubble sole of the shoe.
The shoes sparked outrage over the weekend from conservative political and religious figures, including evangelical pastor Mark Burns and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who tweeted: “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.”
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. https://t.co/m1k1YWFpuo
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) March 28, 2021
Lil Nas X made several trollish posts in response, including a fake design for a “religious” counterpart shoe that featured the Chick-fil-A logo printed on the side. (For the record, MSCHF did release their own “Jesus” shoe, which included a steel crucifix and holy water from the Jordan River, in 2019.) On Sunday, Lil Nas X released a video to his official YouTube channel titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe,” in which he began to apologize before letting the clip cut to the Satanic lap dance scene in “Montero.” As of Monday, the video has now been viewed over 2.5 million times.