American rapper Lil Nas X released a limited edition of "Satan Shoes" today, complete with a pentagram, an inverted cross and a drop of real human blood.
Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, collaborated with provocative art collective MSCHF to create the red and black sneakers, which reference Luke 10:18 on the sides. The verse reads: "He said to them, 'I saw Satan as lightning fall from heaven.'"
The singer also released a video over the weekend titled, "Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe." Lacking any trace of an apology, it depicts his newest explicit music video, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)."
The video follows the rapper's January announcement that his target audience is children.
Speaking of his 2021 children's book, C Is for Country, "Lil Nas X catered to and resonated with that younger demographic," says Dan Runcie, the founder of Trapital, a media company and newsletter focused on business and hip-hop.
The Daily Wire reported on the rapper's apparent pride in his latest project, at the prompting of a social media comment. "I made the decision to create the music video," Lil Nas X wrote. "I am an adult. [I] am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. [T]hat is your job."
Conservative voices and faith leaders are unsurprisingly in an uproar, while by and large, the secular response has been favorable, even celebratory.
Franklin Graham highlighted the spiritual warfare at work in a Twitter thread:
The Word of God says, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28). Hell is a real place, and so is the eternal torment of those who reject Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.— Franklin Graham (@Franklin_Graham) March 29, 2021
Pastor Mark Burns of Harvest Praise and Worship Center in South Carolina called for Christians to arise in faith:
These #SatanShoes by #Nike & #LilNasX with 666 and a drop of human blood in the sole is a reason why we Christians must be prayed up ready to battle in the spirit with the Voice of the Holy Spirit. This is evil & heresy and I pray that Christians rise up against this. pic.twitter.com/u7CK3NCIy7— Pastor Mark Burns (@pastormarkburns) March 27, 2021
And South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem stood up for her faith in response to severe backlash from the artist.
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
This is outrageous, disgusting and perverted and on #PalmSunday no less. Somehow @lilnasx thinks that Satanic worship should be mainstream and normal. I don't think there have been better candidates to cancel than LilNasX and these shoes. https://t.co/yrWxjGhIGB— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) March 28, 2021
Nike denied involvement with the shoe line's development. The Hill quotes the retailer as saying, "We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them."
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