Musical artist Lil Nas X claims he is facing Nike in court this week over his customized “Satan Shoes,” and his social media was full of jokes about it.
On Friday, he uploaded a video to his TikTok account in which he has fake tears dripping down his face. He attempts to do a dance but keeps breaking down. The caption states, “When you have court on Monday over satan shoes and might go to jail but your label keeps telling you to make TikTok videos.”
He’s made several relevant TikToks over the weekend leading up to the (possibly fictional) court date, attempting to make light of the stressful situation. In one, he jokes about getting the judge to fall in love with him. He also jokingly pondered whether or not he should wear a Minion shirt or a Spongebob shirt to court.
By Monday, the “Old Town Road” star tweeted, “all jokes aside i can’t believe i might be going to jail. who’s going to make mildly funny tweets about being gay while i’m away.”
His tweet prompted the hashtag #FreeLilNasX to trend. Soon after, he released a parody video, promoting an upcoming song, entitled “[WATCH LIVE] Nike v. Lil Nas X – Satan Shoes Trial.” In the clip, he’s harassed about being gay while on trial for the shoes.
It’s not clear if he’s actually due in court this week or if it was a publicity stunt. However, his creations are embroiled in a very real lawsuit. The controversy stems from shoes designed by the art collective MSCHF, and released in March, which coincided with the release of the music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name). While the imagery of the singer giving a lap dance to Satan in the video offended some, it was the customized Nike shoes he wore that led to legal woes.
The black Air Max ’97s are customized with the numbers ‘666,” an upside cross, a pentagram and apparently a drop of human blood in each sole, according to CNN. All 666 shoes quickly sold out upon their release.
That same month, Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF, the art collective that designed the shoes. Nike claims that the shoe was made without their “approval or authorization,” according to the lawsuit, obtained by Rolling Stone. They claim the shoes caused “significant harm to [Nike’s] goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism.”
Lil Nas X did not appear to be named in that lawsuit. It is unclear if he is actually being sued. He “apologized” for the shoes in March with a tweet that directed people to the video of him grinding on Satan’s lap.