The impact of modern-day culture on religious beliefs. 

Lil Nas X, most famous for his record-breaking song “Old Town Road,” has found himself in controversial territory. The streetwear brand MSCHF has teamed up with the artist to release Satan shoes using the Nike Airmax 97’s silhouette. The release was to promote Nas X’s new song “Montero/Call Me By Your Name”  which also had hell-like themes throughout the music video. 

Nike later filed an infringement lawsuit on Monday in response to the customized “Satan Shoes.” They denied any involvement with Lil Nas X and the customization of their Airmax shoes. After the shoes were shown many called out Nike for promoting satanic themes. 

 “We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them,” Nike released in a statement. 

The discussions that have arisen around these shoes include if they blatantly disrespect a religion during a sacred time and is it okay if they get away with that. A question to ask oneself is that if the rage is justified?

The use of Nike as branding for the Satan shoe only hurt the brand and it took backlash to have the company finally speak up. Hopefully, this helps Nike navigate the use of their brand in the future for good. 

The brand MSCHF has used religious themes with their shoes before, previously releasing Air Max 97’s with holy water in the sole called Jesus Shoes. The Satan shoe has caused even more controversy to occur. 

Details about the shoe have revealed that they contain a drop of human blood in the sole. Engraved on the side is the verse Luke 10:18, which says, “And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”  

The shoes cost $1018, and there are only 666 pairs in existence. The release happening the holy week of Easter is also another cause for outrage with Christians. The many odes to Satan combined with its subtle move to aggravate Christians by Nas X are why such backlash is justified. 

The Church of Satan Twitter even went as far as to reply to the announcement of the shoes saying, “Hook me up with a pair.”  

The rapper released an apology video on Sunday to address the controversy, but right before he states his apology, it cuts to him giving a lap dance to the devil. On Twitter, the rapper then goes on to subtweet many advisories with his own comebacks. 

The lack of acknowledgment Lil Nas X has had of his blatant offense behavior towards Christianity caused many public figures to speak up. A well-known Christain voice is Candace Owens who went live on IGTV on Sunday to address the matter. 

“They (Lil Nas X) do something that is so perverted, so loud, so disruptive and they want us to comment. So it would be an attack if they were to just be walking down the street and we were like just look at this person. They are horrible people,” said Owen.  

The reactions to the Satan shoe continued with bigger political figures weighing in on the cultural impact of the shoes. 

South Dakota Gov Kristi Noem went on to tweet, 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.”  

Multiple articles have come out on the controversy calling out “right Christians” for having the right to be offended. 

“The goal of shaming Lil Nas X, of trying to turn parents against him, is to make him less powerful or influential. That, too, is a display of force, and behind that display, there is real rage and malice,” said a New York Magazine article.

Satanic imaging in Hollywood is not new. In fact, it’s been done for decades. Marilyn Manson is a figure who for years was known to do darker or satanic things on stage or in his media. 

Lil Uzi Vert who was influenced by Manson and even commissioned a diamond necklace called “God of Fuck” which costs over $220,000. The marketing towards Satanic aesthetics has always been prevalent, but the way in which Lil Nas X went about releasing this song leaves a bad taste in one’s mouth.