Nike Distances Itself from Lil Nas X and Blood Shoes

There are times that I feel old. I’m 30 and even though my metabolic age is listed as 26 — what up — I can be behind the times on things. I can’t name a single YouTuber or former Vine star, I’ve never had kale or avocado toast in my life, and I have three different colors of Sperrys in my closet. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that when I read about Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes,” I was about as confused as my dad is going to be if he reads this blog and comes across the term “Vine star.”

The shoes in question are modified Nike Air Max 97s complete with a pentagram on the shoe’s tongue, a biblical reference to Satan’s fall from heaven, and oh yeah, a drop of human blood in the sole, according to NBC. The blood was apparently drawn by staff members at MSCHF, who collaborated with the rapper on the shoes. According to the company, the shoes will cost $1,018 each and there are only, you guessed it, 666 available.

Now, I cannot imagine that day of work. Any disgruntled employee will get a chance to leave the wildest damn Glassdoor review we’ve ever seen. “Showed up on Tuesday and there was a nurse in my office holding a needle and a vile. We did get 15 days PTO, though, so good work-life balance. Would recommend employer to a friend.”

This is not out of line with who MSCHF is as a company. After doing a quick Google search after assuming MSCHF does not mean MS (postal abbreviation for Mississippi) Coach Hugh Freeze (who undoubtedly will not be a big fan of these shoes), I learned that they do crazy shit all the time. According to Crunchbase.com, MSCHF has an astrology-based stock trading app and a toaster-shaped bath bomb. They also have an app where every time you click your mouse, the app swipes right on Tinder for you. Not surprisingly, the company is headquartered in Brooklyn, which is kind of like saying a cheese company is based in Green Bay.

Nike caught win of the modified sneakers and did not terribly mince words in their statement. “We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF,” Nike said in a statement. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.” That seems relatively clear enough.

I still would like an answer from Lil Nas X and MSCHF as to why they thought, “2020 wasn’t great, but you know what 2021 needs? The Prince of Darkness.” The drop of blood may seem like a novel idea, but let’s not forget they’re stepping on a path paved for them by Angelina Jolie, who wore a vial of Billy Bob Thornton’s blood on the red carpet and wrote her husband’s name in blood on the shirt she wore to her wedding. Mrs. Smith walked so that Lil Nas X could run.

One of the worst things about these shoes is what this means for my Facebook feed here in the South. I can’t begin to count the amount of times I will have to see a baby boomer meme with a picture of these shoes saying “these are the heroes the media wants” with a picture of a fireman holding a baby captioned “these are my heroes. Share it you agree, 97 percent will keep scrolling!”

I’ll give the shoes this, though: the marketing worked. I had no idea what in the hell MSCHF was before this, and had not thought about Lil Nas X since the most recent Kids Bop came out. So there is that, but I believe I’m going to keep up my old school square ways of buying non-demonic blood-free shoes from now on.

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