Lil Nas X, the “Old Town Road” rapper, is collaborating with the streetwear company MSCHF on a pair of “Satan Shoes,” only 666 pairs of which will be sold for $1,018 each. The controversial kicks are apparently modified Nike Air Max 97s. They have been decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to ‘Luke 10:18’, a Bible verse about Satan’s fall from heaven.
According to the MSCHF company, the sneakers also contain a drop of human blood in the sole, drawn from members of the MSCHF team. News of the shoes being launched drew outrage over the Palm Sunday weekend with some critics slamming both Lil Nas X and Nike.
Nike was quick to distance itself from the shoes, pointing out that they are custom adaptations of existing products. “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,” Nike said in a statement.
The release of the Satan Shoes coincides with Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and its music video. In the video, Lil Nas X is seduced out of what appears to be the Garden of Eden, falls into hell and gives the devil a lap dance. The music video has been viewed more than 30 million times since its release on Friday.
After the release of the song Friday, Lil Nas X put out an open letter to his younger self about coming out as gay. The rapper explained that the song was about a guy he met last summer.
“I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” he wrote.