Lil Nas X heads to court over his “Satan Shoes” controversy and kicks off the trial with a surprise for his fans.
In March, Lil Nas X released the music video for “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”. Following its release, he was heavily criticised by many right-wing and conservative groups for how his music video praises “devil worship”. They were also concerned about how the video would be received by his younger fans.
To calm the critics, he released the “Satan Shoes” as part of a collaboration with NY-based art collective, MSCHF. It is a version of the all-black Nike 97’s, featuring a golden pentagram, a drop of human blood in the shoe’s bubble and an embedded “Luke 10:18”. This is in reference to the verse “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”, with the shoes also selling for $1018. Only 666 pairs were made available.
Following the sneaker’s release, however, Nike was quick to release a statement that the release was not affiliated with the company. They also did not endorse the collaboration, filing a lawsuit against Lil Nas X for infringing on the brand’s trademark “swoosh” and for damaging the brand’s reputation.
The shoes were unfortunately recalled, and a judge blocked them from being shipped to customers. MSCHF then agreed with Nike to rebuy all the pairs that were sold. Lil Nas X commented on this, stating in a tweet that:
i haven’t been upset until today, i feel like it’s fucked up they have so much power they can get shoes cancelled. freedom of expression gone out the window. but that’s gonna change soon.
— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) April 1, 2021
Fans were quick to point out Nike’s hypocrisy on the collaboration, referencing a 2019 MSCHF x INRI collaboration that resulted in the sale and popularity of the “Jesus Shoes“.
Lil Nas X’s reaction to the Court Trial
Lil Nas X announced the trial’s hearing a week previous, and joked with his fans constantly about it. He has released several Tik Tok videos, one joking about making the judge fall in love with him to reduce his sentence. On Twitter, he has asked his fans what shirt he should wear to the trial.
trying really hard to decide what i should wear to court on monday for the satan shoes case pic.twitter.com/VAGuz1JgZD
— nope 👶🏾 (@LilNasX) July 16, 2021
On the 19th, while the #FreeLilNasX was trending, the artist released a Youtube video that appeared to be a live stream of his court hearing. After opening the video, it was revealed to fans to be a trailer for “Industry Baby”. He has frequently teased the song and has finally made its official announcement.
Lil Nas X plays the titular characters of Judge Thomas, the prosecution, the defence, a juror, and himself. The trial starts off with the prosecutor Lil Nas X stating that the trial is more than about shoes. He asks Lil Nas X “Are you gay? Let me rephrase the question, do yo mama know you gay?”. After saying yes, Judge Thomas (Lil Nas X) sentences him to 5 years in the fictional Montero State Prison.
The trailer then ends with a slide show of the singer’s fictional mugshots. The song will feature Jack Harlow, and is produced by Take a Daytrip and Kanye West (a notable figure against the Nike brand). Lil Nas X has also premiered the website freelilnasx.com, allowing fans to save the song on Spotify and Apple Music.
Catch the trailer below:
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