Rapper Lil Nas X sparked controversy online over Palm Sunday weekend with the release of a controversial pair of “Satan Shoes”, which featured a bronze pentagram charm, an inverted cross – and actual human blood.
The sneakers, made using Nike Air Max 97S, are a collaboration between the “Old Town Road” rapper and New York-based art collective MSCHF. Nike clarified its sneakers are not being used in an official partnership.
“We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF,” said Nike in a statement. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”
The sneakers are said to launch as a limited edition collection of 666 pair. MSCHF said each shoe contains about 2 fluid ounces of red ink and “one drop” of human blood in the sole. The blood came from the MSCHF team.
The shoes are priced at $1,017 – which is a reference to the Bible verse Luke 10:18: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem criticized the collaboration, tweeting, “We are in a fight for the soul of our nation.”
The rapper replied to the governor and said “do our job”.
Political commentator Candace Owens and right-wing pastor Greg Locke also expressed outrage over the shoes. Fans, however, showered the rapper with support for his new song, music video and sneaker collaboration.
The video has been reviewed more than 31-million times since its Friday release.
MSCHF said: “We expected the backlash, and we’re all for it”.