How Lil Nas X Used ‘Satan Shoes’ Controversy And A Fake Court Date To Promote His New Single
“Old Town Road” singer Lil Nas X was trending Monday morning after telling fans he had a court hearing over his controversial “Satan Shoes,” and could be heading to jail in what turned out to be an elaborate move to promote his new single.
The court hearing, teased by the singer all week, turned out to be a trailer for a new music video for his new Kanye West-produced single, “Industry Baby,” which drops Friday, July 23. On July 16, Lil Nas X posted a TikTok of him crying and dancing, writing that his label asked him to continue making videos even though he had a court hearing Monday that could end with the singer in jail. He said the hearing was related to his “Satan Shoes,” a line of limited-edition modified Nike sneakers with Satanic designs that courted controversy in conservative circles and that Nike later sued over to stop the sale of the shoes. Lil Nas X continued to tease his alleged court hearing over the weekend, jokingly asking his fans what t-shirt to wear before the judge, and shared memes of fans describing how they would defend him in court. In the trailer he posted Monday, Lil Nas X (who plays nearly every character shown) stands trial over the “Satan Shoes,” but is asked by the prosecution about being gay before being sentenced to time in “Montero State Prison,” a reference to the singer’s legal first name and his previous single, “MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name).”
Earlier this year, Lil Nas X teamed up with art collective MSCHF to sell 666 pairs of modified Nike Air Max 97s featuring pentagram designs, biblical references to Satan falling from heaven and a drop of human blood. Nike sued MSCHF shortly after, and the two parties later settled the legal battle when the art collective agreed to a voluntary recall of the limited-edition sneakers. The collaboration was announced alongside the release of a video for Lil Nas X’s previous single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” which featured the singer portraying various biblical figures, including Satan. Lil Nas X, who hails from Georgia, first found mainstream success with his 2019 viral hit “Old Town Road.”
Lil Nas X's 'Call Me By Your Name' And ‘Satan’ Shoes Spark A Culture War. It's Paying Off.
‘Satan Shoes’ Maker Says Nike Is Censoring Art After Judge Halts Future Sales (Forbes)