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Lil Nas X releases "Satan" Nikes containing real human blood

Lil Nas X opens up about coming out
Lil Nas X opens up about the difficulties of coming out: "We still have a long way to go" 02:22

The devil doesn't only wear Prada. Rapper Lil Nas X sparked intense debate online over Palm Sunday weekend with the release of a controversial pair of "Satan Shoes," which feature a bronze pentagram charm, an inverted cross — and actual human blood.

The sneakers, made using Nike Air Max 97s, are a collaboration between the "Old Town Road" rapper and New York-based art collective MSCHF. Nike clarified its sneakers are not being used in an official partnership.

"We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF," the company told CBS News in a statement Monday. "Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them."

The Lil Nas X and MSCHF collaboration launches on March 29, 2021 at 11 a.m. ET.  MSCHF

The sneakers will launch as a limited edition collection of 666 pairs. According to MSCHF, each shoe continues about 2 fluid ounces of red ink and "one drop" of human blood in the sole. The blood came from the MSCHF team. 

The sneakers are priced at $1,018 — a reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18, which reads, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven," the collective told CBS News on Monday. 

They are available Monday at 11 a.m. ET. The drop follows the Friday release of the music video for the 21-year-old's new song "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)." The provocative video begins in the biblical garden of Eden before transitioning to the underworld, complete with the rapper attempting to seduce a horned devil in an homage to his acceptance of his queer identity. 

According to MSCHF, each shoe contains about 2 fluid ounces of red ink and "one drop" of human blood in the sole.  MSCHF

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem criticized the collaboration, tweeting, "We are in a fight for the soul of our nation." 

The rapper, born Montero Lamar Hill, did not shy away from online disapproval, replying to the governor, "do ur job!" 

Other conservatives, including political commentator Candace Owens and right-wing pastor Greg Locke also expressed outrage over the shoes. However, fans showered the rapper with support for the new song, music video and sneaker collaboration — the music video has been viewed more than 31 million times since its Friday release. 

"Hook us up with a pair fam," the Church Of Satan tweeted in support. The atheist organization says on its website it regards Satan as a "symbol of pride, liberty and individualism" and does not believe in a literal being.

"We expected the backlash, and we're all for it," MSCHF told CBS News. 

Lil Nas X released a fake apology video on Sunday titled, "Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe." 

In the video, the rapper is sitting in front of the camera, apparently about to apologize for the shoe, when it cuts to a suggestive shot from the new devil-themed music video. 

Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe by Lil Nas X on YouTube

"I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the sh** y'all preached would happen to me because I was gay," the rapper wrote in an open letter to his younger self about coming out as gay. "So I hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves."

He said he hoped the song and video would "open doors for many other queer people to simply exist."

The rapper also jokingly tweeted another shoe design for people who were offended by the Satan shoes. 

"We have decided to drop these to even the score. damn y'all happy now?" he tweeted, with a picture of a pair of sneakers featuring "John 3:16," "my pleasure," and "Chick-fil-A" on the side. The fast-food chain has a history of financing evangelical groups that opposed LGBTQ rights. 

It's not the first time MSCHF has released a pair of modified Nikes. In 2019, the collective released "Jesus Shoes," which it said contained holy water from the River Jordan, for $4,000. MSCHF told CBS News that the "Satan Shoes" are a direct follow-up to the "Jesus Shoes." 

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