Cristian Valentin
Equinox Staff

In somewhat typical fashion for celebrities, an artist has come in the limelight thanks to controversy. In this instance, I am talking about the Lil Nas X controversy regarding his new “Satan shoes.”

According to TMZ, these shoes were inspired by the Nike Air Max 97 to go along with Lil Nas X’s “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” demon-themed music video. The shoe features a Luke 10:18 to reference Satan being banished from heaven, an inverted cross, a bronze pentagram, a drop of human blood and to top it off, there were 666 copies made.

Unsurprisingly, this sparked many people speaking out against the shoes but surprisingly, this aspect isn’t what got the shoes taken off the market. This would be the fact that Nike successfully sued the company making the shoes, MSCHF, for infringing upon the design of the aforementioned Air Max 97 without permission.

The settlement has resulted in not only stopping MSCHF from making future sales of the shoe, but also the full recall of any already out.

To briefly speak on the lawsuit, I definitely see why Nike sued because they are very much the same shoe and I don’t understand how an artist as big as Lil Nas X couldn’t reach an agreement with the company. They certainly have a knack for partnering with well-known celebrities but I can also absolutely understand if they just didn’t want association with the satanist theme.

This brings me to the bigger controversy for many, which is the overall theme and design of the shoes. I’m not a super religious person but I definitely wouldn’t want something like that representing me in a way. The pentagram is just not it and the upside down cross along with the literal human blood is downright excessive. Take out the satanist things and I honestly think it’s a really cool shoe, mostly because I’m a sucker for red and black being paired together.

I also understand how more religious people would be offended by something like this but I just honestly think it’s pretty harmless. In my eyes, it’s just a rapper being kinda edgy and although, it’s not for me this isn’t really something super out of the ordinary. I believe this especially considering the fact that it’s limited edition and for somebody with 33 million active listeners on Spotify like Lil Nas X, a few sales of 666 shoes is really nothing.

It would simply be a collector’s piece for many that probably would have less than half of those people actually wearing them and would be held onto to sell for a bunch of money down the line. Another aspect to consider is that Lil Nas X has a fanbase of primarily high school, college students and people in their twenties. I think anybody believing this would be some kind of satanist movement is just overreacting and something tells me any legitimate satanist probably doesn’t listen to Lil Nas X.

Overall, I’m mixed on this controversy because I do think the satanist aspect is very heavy-handed and tacky, but I also think the public outcry is a bit silly.


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