Rapper and singer Lil Nas X is launching a controversial pair of “Satan Shoes” featuring a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross, and a drop of real human blood.
The black and red sneakers, part of a collaboration between Lil Nas X and New York-based art collective MSCHF, were made using Nike Air Max 97s, though the sportswear brand has distanced itself from the design.
In an emailed statement Nike said it was not involved in creating the modified sneakers according to a report by CNN. The statement reads:
“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.”
Launching as a limited-edition “drop” of 666 pairs, each shoe’s air bubble sole contains 60 cubic centimeters (2.03 fluid ounces) of red ink and “one drop” of human blood.
They are priced at $1,018 a pair, a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18 that reads: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
According to MSCHF, the company behind the shoe, “the blood is said to have been provided by members of the art collective, adding: “We love to sacrifice for our art.”
The shoes sparked outrage online over the weekend and attracted criticism from a number of high-profile political and religious figures, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem and the evangelical pastor Mark Burns. The latter described the sneakers in a tweet as “evil” and “heresy.” Some fans of the “Old Town Road” rapper, meanwhile, tweeted their support and desire to own a pair.
However, in a bid to balance things out after the numerous call-outs, Lil Nas released another pair of sneakers with the bible verse; John 3:16. He tweeted:
MSCHF is known for its irreverent “drops,” a series of tongue-in-cheek art projects unveiled once every two weeks. In 2019, the collective 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.
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