A governor, a well-known college quarterback and even a mainstream rapper are among those criticizing Lil Nas X for his new “Satan Shoes” sneakers and an accompanying music video that shows him dancing, explicitly, with Satan.
Lil Nas X, known best for his song “Old Town Road,” announced the sneaker collaboration over the weekend with the company MSCHF, which produced black and red shoes that contain one drop of human blood. The shoes are accompanied by a pentagram and stamped with the phrase “Luke 10:18” – a reference to Satan falling from heaven. MSCHF made 666 pairs of them and sold them for $1,018 each. The company used Nike Air Max ‘97s for the shoe, although Nike has no involvement.
Lil Nas X, in an interview with Complex, called it a “fun collaboration.”
“People already demonize who I am, put me in a painting of, ‘OK, he’s evil.’ So it’s like, you know what? I’ll take that. I’ll be that. And I’m gonna make the best of it.”
The announcement of the shoes’ release came as Lil Nas X released a video for his song Montero that shows him falling into hell, where he dances seductively with Satan. “Montero” is Lil Nas X’s real name.
Defenders of the song say it’s a reference to his embrace of his homosexuality.
But many think he has gone too far with the satanic imagery.
“I think the biggest problem for me is the fact he dont understand ‘old town road’ is every kids anthem. Children love him for that record,” rapper Joyner Lucas tweeted. “They tuned in and subscribed to his channels. So with no disclaimer he just dropped some left field ish & all our kids seen it. Smh”
Joyner said Lil Nas X only wants attention.
“I doubt he actually worships the devil,” Lucas tweeted.
That @LilNasX video is wild but as a artist he doing everything he supposed to do. Creating viral moments, making people talk, & creating content he already knew you was going to react to. It’s a formula guaranteed to work. I doubt he actually worships the devil.— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) March 28, 2021
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem 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. 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.”
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.— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) March 28, 2021
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
When Lil Nas X tweeted that Noem should “do ur job” and not worry about shoes, Noem tweeted, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Matthew 16:26.”
Former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is preparing for the NFL draft, tweeted, “Line has to be drawn somewhere. Smh.”
Line has to be drawn somewhere. Smh. https://t.co/89bSqfPtyE— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) March 28, 2021
Photo courtesy: MSCHF/Lil Nas X Twitter
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.