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Nike Not Amused: Company Files Lawsuit Over Rapper’s ‘Satan Shoes’

It’s about as transparent a publicity stunt as possible, and Nike is not happy about it.

It’s a trick as old as fame itself, and one of the nation’s most recent one-hit wonders is hoping that it’ll reignite the already waning fandom that he cultivated with a surprise crossover record.

Lil Nas X – who first made headlines when his country/rap mashup “Old Town Road” was arbitrarily denied entry to the Billboard country charts, is no stranger to controversy.  After releasing the song, and ginning up sympathy points over his removal from the Billboard rankings, Lil Nas X appeared to be headed to the isle of misfit songs – a place populated with bands like Chumbawumba, Dishwalla, Rebecca Black, and more.

In order to avoid this, the hip hop flash-in-the-pan decided to go big, releasing 666 pairs of a signature sneaker that was not only adorned with pentagrams and Satan-related Bible verses, but also contained human blood in the sole.

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It was just about as transparent a publicity stunt as could exist in the world today, but the backlash had Nike seeing red on account of the “Satan Shoes” sharing a platform with their Air Max 97 line.

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Nike filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit Monday against the company that released a controversial customized version of its sneakers in collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X.

The “Old Town Road” artist worked with MSCHF to release “Satan Shoes” on Monday. The sneakers are modified Nike Air Max 97s — decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan’s fall from heaven.

MSCHF, a company known for creating controversial and viral products, confirmed Sunday that the shoes contained a drop of human blood inside the sole, drawn from members of the MSCHF team.

All 666 pairs of the modified Nikes, priced at $1,018, sold out shortly after they went on sale Monday.

Lil Nas X appears to be pouring himself fully into this new character that he’s playing, turning tawdry and rude on Twitter in response to the hullabaloo about his purposefully offensive shoes.

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