The controversy of Lil Nas X’s shoe


Daniel Torres, Senior

Famous music artist Lil Nas X has been in a lot of controversies recently, especially with the release of his new shoe, a Nike Air Max 97, that came with the release of his new song, “Montero.” The shoe is a collaboration between Lil Nas X and MSCHF, although it has no affiliation with Nike. The shoe is heavily inspired by his music video, as the shoe contains many satanic symbols and imagery that were featured in the video.

MSCHF is the brand also responsible for the Nike Air Max 97 “Jesus” shoe, and the collaboration shoe with Lil Nas X seems to be it’s counterpart. The shoe was limited to only 666 pairs with a retail price of $1,018. People who received the shoe early got them in a protective case covering the shoe box, featuring many demonic symbols, along with the shoe itself. 

The shoe comes in a black colorway with many little details and references to Satan. For starters, on the shoe, there is a print detailing the pair received out of the 666 pairs released and Luke:1018, which is a reference to the retail price of the shoe. It is also the bible verse that states, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” On the tongue of the shoe is a bronze pentagram tag, which is another Satanic reference. The most controversial part is the red ink in the air bubble of the shoe that features one drop of human blood. 

The shoe has gotten a lot of attention and hate as it is freely expressing the ideas of Satan, leaving many uncomfortable and against the shoe itself. In an interview with Complex, Lil Nas X claimed, “People already demonize who I am and put me in a painting of: ‘he’s evil doing this doing that,’ so I’ll take that and I’ll be that, and I’m gonna make the best of it.” 

The controversy has gotten to the point where Nike had to come out and denounce the shoe, as it isn’t an official collaboration with Nike. Nike later filed a lawsuit against MSCHF and the shoe, which ended in a settlement of an undisclosed amount of money and a callback, giving buyers of the Satan and Jesus shoes an option to return their shoes to get a full refund. 

Some people are fascinated by the controversy that surrounds this unusual show. Gustavo Monjaras, a senior from Nogales shared, “It is a shoe that I knew was very controversial and something I liked too. It is a shoe that will be talked about in the future and will be a staple in the shoe industry.”