Lil Nas X has clapped back at critics outraged over the launch of his limited-edition "Satan Shoes" containing a drop of human blood.
The rapper caused a stir over the weekend after announcing the sneakers, which are being released as a joint collaboration with New York-based art collective MSCHF, according to CNN. The shoe features a pentagram as well as an inverted cross and the drop of blood that has been infused with red ink and inserted in the air bubble sole.
Since news of the shoes was released, Lil Nas X has been actively defending himself from widespread backlash on social media. Among his critics are notable high-profile political names including Gov. Kristi Noem, R-S.D.
"Your kids are being told that this kind of product is, not only okay, it's "exclusive." But do you know what's more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul. We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win," Noem tweeted Sunday.
Lil Nas X was quick to hit back.
"ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!" he tweeted in response.
Evangelical pastor Mark Burns also slammed the "Old Town Road" hitmaker.
"These #SatanShoes by #Nike & #LilNasX with 666 and a drop of human blood in the sole is a reason why we Christians must be prayed up ready to battle in the spirit with the Voice of the Holy Spirit. This is evil & heresy and I pray that Christians rise up against this," he wrote in a post on Twitter.
Amid the fury, Lil Nas X posted a link to his YouTube channel titled, "Lil Nas X apologizes for Satan Shoe" — but instead of offering an apology, the video cuts to a scene from his new music video "Montero [Call Me By Your Name], in which he dances provocatively with a figure resembling Satan before breaking his neck and claiming his horns.
Nike also has been blasted for the shoe, which is modelled on the Nike Air Max 97s, but the brand has said it was not involved in the creation of the product.
"We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF," the company said. "Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them."
The limited-edition series will see 666 pairs of shoes released, each selling for $1,018, and including a reference to Luke 10:18 that reads: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven," CNN noted. The drop of blood has been provided by members of MSCHF.
"We love to sacrifice for our art," the art collective said.
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