Lil Nas X is in the process of promoting his upcoming album in a very unconventional way.
The “Old Town Road” rapper and the company MSCHF have collaborated on a limited-edition Nike Air Max 97 with Satanic stylings designed by Nas X, to commemorate his new look and new music.
MSCHF x Lil Nas X "Satan Shoes" 🏹
👟Nike Air Max '97
🩸Contains 60cc ink and 1 drop of human blood
🗡️666 Pairs, individually numbered
🗓️March 29th, 2021 pic.twitter.com/XUMA9TKGSX
— SAINT (@saint) March 26, 2021
The rapper has had trouble finding his footing since coming out as gay in 2019, and his following projects receiving lackluster reviews.
On Friday, Nas X debuted his video Montero, which features Satanic symbols, imagery, and references to the Garden of Eden. After the song’s release, he tweeted an open letter to his 14-year-old self, apologizing for coming out and explaining why he did it.
“I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” he wrote.
— nope 🏹 (@LilNasX) March 26, 2021
The opening of the music video for “Montero,” which is Nas X’s real name, includes a message similar to his social media post and details the song’s meaning.
“In life, we hide the parts of ourselves we don’t want the world to see,” Nas says. “We lock them away. We tell them, ‘No.’ We banish them. But here, we don’t. Welcome to Montero.”
The backlash over the song and the shoes was, not surprisingly, swift and forced Nike to immediately dissociate itself from Nas X and MSCHF.
Nike released a statement that read, in part;
“We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF,” Nike wrote. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”