When Lil Nas X released his collaboration “Old Town Road” with Billy Ray Cyrus, he reached a whole new audience, many of them young adults and kids. It became the most-streamed song of all time and the video scored a Grammy. But he recently dropped a video for his song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, which includes a scene of him sliding down a stripper pole into Hell to give the Devil a lapdance, sending the Christian right into overdrive.
To commemorate the video, Lil Nas X, who is openly gay, also created what he called “Satan Shoes”, an updated Nike Air Max ’97. The rapper partnered with MSCHF, a Brooklyn-based company whose other projects include toaster-shaped bath bombs and rubber-chicken bongs. It’s a follow-up of sorts to the brand’s previous Jesus Shoe, which came with holy water supposedly from the River Jordan in its sole. The devilish kicks feature a bronze pentagram charm, a printed reference to the Bible verse Luke 10:18 (“I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”) and, allegedly, drops of blood from the MSCHF staff mixed into the ink that fills the side air bubble. And that sanguine detail has the conservative clutching their pearls even more tightly, with “Satanic Panic” trending on Twitter Monday as a result.
The hype resulted in the Satan Shoe selling out within a minute.
JUST IN: All 666 of Lil Nas X’s limited edition Satan shoes sold out in under a minute pic.twitter.com/PJv00vjaR5
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) March 29, 2021
In a statement, Nike denied having any involvement in the production of the Satan Shoes. “We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF,” the company said. “Nike did not design or release these shoes, and we do not endorse them.” The legality of selling customized versions of preexisting shoes is unclear, but MSCHF is going forward regardless, selling out all 666 pairs (natch) at $1,018 each.
Watching Lil Nas X single-handedly incite a new round of Satanic Panic in the year 2021 and causing many white conservatives to clutch their pearls en masse in response has reinvigorated my love of this platform.
— Heatherface Wixson (@MMEFXBook out 10/20!) (@thehorrorchick) March 29, 2021
Conservatives on Twitter were trying so hard to make their case, but Lil Nas X wasn’t having any of it, explaining in a series of tweets that he’s an adult who makes music for himself, and he refuses to cater to kids or anyone else.
Something the Lil Nas X thing is showing is that American conservative Christians would bring the Satanic Panic back in a second. They’d love to send a teacher to jail for ten years because a 3 year old said they fed him to a shark and the devil and Megatron was there.
— gareth watkins, quarantichrist superstar (@GarethLWatkins1) March 29, 2021
You’re really stretching for a persecution narrative when you’re acting like some rappers publicity stunt (which is working) is a real thing
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) March 29, 2021
Satanic Panic: brought to you by the same white evangelicals who spent the last 4 years putting an adulterer who lies, divorced 3 times, sleeping with playboy playmate/porn stars, and paying them to keep quiet on a gold pedestal……made in Mexico. pic.twitter.com/TrByg1y4oG
— Sergio Vengeance (@SergioVengeance) March 29, 2021
Lil Nas X was certainly enjoying all of the free publicity, especially when people complained that he was supposed to be a role model for kids when he’s never promoted himself as a children’s artist.
i literally sing about lean & adultery in old town road. u decided to let your child listen. blame yourself. https://t.co/gYmTi49BqB
— MONTERO 🦋 (@LilNasX) March 29, 2021
The lyrics in question from “Old Town Road” are: “Riding on a tractor, lean all in my bladder. Cheated on my baby, you can go and ask her. My life is a movie, bull riding, and boobies, cowboy hat from Gucci, Wrangler on my booty.”
"Most grown folks" is a lie. Those of us with sense all saw grown-ass people listening to Old Town Road. it also has ADULT lyrics within it. Just say you homophobic and move
— Jason (Moderna. One Piece stan) (@EscaflowneClown) March 29, 2021