Lil Nas X has eviscerated an evangelical pastor for preaching about his “Satan shoes” instead of talking about the pandemic or recent mass shootings.
The “Old Town Road” rapper sent fans into a frenzy with the music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, released on Friday (26 March), which shows him sliding down to hell on a pole before giving Satan a lap dance.
Shortly after dropping the video, Lil Nas X released 666 pairs of modified unofficial Nike trainers in conjunction with an art collective, with each shoe filled with a drop of human blood. The shoes are also decorated with a pentagram and an upside-down cross symbol.
Religious figures were furious, with Free Chapel pastor Jentezen Franklin issuing a lengthy sermon about the evils of Lil Nas X’s embrace of “the gay lifestyle”.
In a furious sermon posted to YouTube, Franklin told a huge crowd that his daughter showed him the video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and described it as “downright scary”.
Free Chapel pastor says Lil Nas X ‘needs Jesus’
“I’m not picking on this young man, he needs Jesus. He just needs Jesus, that’s all,” Franklin said.
“But ‘Little Nash X’ – I don’t know if I’m getting that right, I have no idea – he looks like a nice guy. He has no idea maybe what he’s playing with… he has put out of a song, he has embraced the gay lifestyle.
“This video just came out Friday and has had 12 million views and it’s unbelievable, I watched it and he actually has a homosexual orgy with Lucifer himself in the video. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I thought I had seen it all. This is on a different level.”
Franklin went on to describe Lil Nas X’s shoes in detail, accusing the rapper of “doubling down on his Satanic imagery”.
“Even if it’s something they’re doing for commercial purposes, Satan doesn’t play fair,” Franklin said, to cheers from the crowd.
A recording of the sermon quickly went viral when it was shared on TikTok. It was later shared on Twitter and caught the attention of Lil Nas X himself.
“We are in a pandemic & there is a mass shooting every week but y’all are gathering in a church to discuss shoes lmaooo,” he wrote.
His tweet has racked up more than 168,000 likes, with fans offering their own thoughts on why religious figures are so obsessed with Lil Nas X.
One replied: “Because they care more about controlling lives than preserving lives.”
Another wrote: “They’re advertising your shoes in church now? That’s dope!”
Lil Nas X’s “Satan shoes” sold out less than one minute after going on sale on Monday (29 March), with fans clearly not deterred by the hefty $1,018 price tag.
But it might not be all plain-sailing for the 21-year-old. Nike has already filed a lawsuit against New York-based art collective MSCHF for using its branding without “approval and authorisation”.
In its lawsuit, Nike said it was “in no way connected with this project” and brought forward claims of trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and false designation of origin.