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Lil Nas X hits out at ‘crying nerds’ after judge blocks ‘Satan shoes’ from being shipped

Josh Milton April 2, 2021
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Lil Nas X's blood-filled 'Satan shoes' face product recall amid Nike lawsuit

Lil Nas X holding one of his Satan-themed shoes. (Twitter)

A frustrated Lil Nas X hit out at “crying nerds on the internet” for halting sales of his Satan shoes, saying that “freedom of expression” is “gone”.

After Lil Nas X announced he was dropping 666 limited edition “Satan shoes” that contained a drop of real human blood to mark the release of his “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” video, the hitmaker has been mired in controversy.

Trainer titan Nike quickly sued MSCHF, the tiny, Brooklyn-based art collective that modified the Nike Air Max 97s in collaboration with Lil Nas X, for trademark infringement.

Nike won, with a judge on Thursday (1 April) blocking MSCHF from shipping out the shoes – all but one have already been sold, with Lil Nas X planning to give away the 666th pair.

For Lil Nas X, who has spent recent days sparring with frustrated conservatives, the decision was a gutting loss.

“Sorry guys, I’m legally not allowed to give the 666th pair away anymore because of the crying nerds on the internet,” he tweeted Friday (2 April).

About 10 minutes later, he tweeted: “I haven’t been upset until today, I feel like it’s f****d up they have so much power they can get shoes cancelled.

“Freedom of expression gone out the window. But that’s gonna change soon.”

Lil Nas X collaborator MSCHF wonder why Nike ‘censored’ Satan shoes but not its Jesus shoes

MSCHF is known for its quirky and riling approach to design: Medical bill art, toaster-shaped bath bombs, a prank app that recommends stock options based on astrological signs.

The group, which rarely sells commercial products, launched “Jesus shoes” in 2019 which came to be worn by the likes of Drake.

The customised Nike Air Max 97s were filled with holy water from the Jordan River – neither the Vatican nor Nike sued MSCHF, despite the shoes not being endorsed or made by the company.

But Nike quickly took aim at MSCHF’s follow-up to the Jesus kicks – devil-themed shoes, which featured an inverted cross, a pentagram and “Luke 10:18” printed on the heel counter.

Six MSCHF workers donated their blood for the new line, who then mixed it with ink that filled an air bubble in the sneaker.

Nike sued MSCHF over “trademark infringement and dilution, false designation of origin, and unfair competition”.

“MSCHF and its unauthorised Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike,” they alleged.

MSCHF’s attorneys combatted this, stressing that the pairs are “not typical sneakers, but rather individually-numbered works of art that were sold to collectors for $1,018 each”.

They also stressed that “given the sophistication of purchasers”, customers would know the shoes are not connected to Nike.

However, a New York federal court ordered production to be passed as a judge issued a temporary restraining order.

Following the ruling, MSCHF reflected on the starkly different response to its Jesus and Satan shoes in a public statement on its website – echoing Lil Nas X’s concerns over freedom of expression.

“Over a year ago we released the Jesus Shoes. As a manifested speculative artwork Jesus Shoes conflates celebrity collab culture and brand worship with religious worship into a limited edition line of art objects.

“Last week’s release of the Satan Shoes, in collaboration with Lil Nas X, was no different. Satan Shoes started a conversation, while also living natively in its space. It is art created for people to observe, speculate on, purchase, and own.

“Heresy only exists in relation to doctrine: who is Nike to censor one but not the other?”

It continued: “MSCHF strongly believes in the freedom of expression, and nothing is more important than our ability, and the ability of other artists like us, to continue with our work over the coming years.”

Related topics: lil nas x

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