Montero Lamar Hill a.k.a. rapper Lil Nas X has a new video out now that is controversial, to say the least. On March 25 he released his newest song which is a letter written to his younger self. The timing of the video and a pair of sneakers being promoted in conjunction with the new song is raising the ire of Christians, given the closeness of the observation of Easter.
The singer’s hit song, “Old Town Road” is the most-streamed song of all-time in the U.S. He is openly gay and his music reflects his sexuality. His fan base trends to a younger market. You may remember when Pete Buttigieg was running for president and he tried to co-opt Lil Nas X into his campaign. The rapper didn’t fall for it and declined a request to collaborate with Buttigieg.
The new song, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, addresses his decision to come out as gay although his church, like most Christian churches, does not approve. In the video, he dances on a stripper pole that goes down to hell and he gives a lap dance to Satan. It’s not surprising that people of faith object to such a video that will likely be downloaded by a young audience.
The “Old Town Road” performer addressed the note to “14-year-old Montero,” using his given name, Montero Lamar Hill. “I wrote a song with our name in it. It’s about a guy I met last summer,” he wrote.
“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 continued.
He added that coming out was difficult for him, and people accused him of “pushing an agenda.”
— nope 🏹 (@LilNasX) March 26, 2021
The agenda accusation comes from parents who are concerned about exposing their children to the video. Lil Nas X rightly says he’s an adult and it’s the job of the parents to monitor what their children are doing.
Alongside a video of Lil Nas X performing at an elementary school, one user wrote: “The system is targeting kids. Lil Nas X’s fanbase is mostly children. They did the same thing with Miley Cyrus after Hannah Montana.”
Lil Nas X then responded to the tweet, writing: “There was no system involved. I made the decision to create the music video. I am an adult. I am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. That is your job.”
there was no system involved. i made the decision to create the music video. i am an adult. i am not gonna spend my entire career trying to cater to your children. that is your job. https://t.co/SzjjYe2tf4
— nope 🏹 (@LilNasX) March 27, 2021
He’s made the decision to come out regardless of the consequences of church-goers and his own church, which is his right to do. What is questionable, though, is how he is going about delivering hope to other young gay people who are struggling with coming out themselves. Is using Satan the way to go, especially around such a holy time as Easter, the celebration commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead? Christians believe that Jesus died for our sins. For most Christians, the death and resurrection of Jesus are the most important events in the Christian faith. I don’t claim to be an expert on theology. I just know that in my church we were raised to believe that Jesus died for our sins and God forgives all sinners who ask for forgiveness.
The marketing of “Satan Shoes” adds fuel to the fire. Lil Nas X collaborated with MSCHF on the shoe. A drop of blood is mixed with ink on the bottom of the sneakers. The blood in the shoes comes courtesy of the MSCHF team. MSCHF founding team member Daniel Greenberg told Snopes that MSCHF buys the shoes from Nike, then MSCHF artists make their own creative modifications before selling them. These are not sold as Nike shoes.
Because the shoes in question are Nike Air Max 97s, readers asked Snopes whether the brand Nike was partnering with Lil Nas X to create the Satan shoes. “Nike did not release nor design these shoes,” a spokesperson for Nike told us in an email.
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
On the side of the shoe is a Biblical reference – Luke 10:18 18. “He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” And the number 666, a Satanic symbol is on the shoe, too. The price is high for the sneakers. The shoes go on sale tomorrow. It is a limited edition of 666, of course.
The “Old Town Road” singer is expected to release the pair of shoes on March 29 as a collaboration with the custom sneaker brand MSCHF. The shoes start at $1,018 and contain “60cc ink and 1 drop of human blood.”
The release of “Satan Shoes” during Easter Week is a jab in the eye to Christians, a provocation meant to bring publicity to both the shoes and Lil Nas X’s new music release. It just seems to be a bad decision on timing. Why poke whatever portion of his fan base that will see his decision and that of MSCHF as a slap in the face? His fans know he’s gay. Satan Shoes could have waited a week and still gotten tons of publicity. Lil Nas X’s message is clear either way.