The Shameless Exploitation of Lil Nas X

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readApr 10, 2021

Sure, the controversial drop of the Nike “satan shoes” was great for ad clicks…for about a minute. What happens to Lil Nas X now?

Christian Cowan + Segway + Lil Nas X Collaborate for NYFW. (photo: Adriano B.)

What seemed at first to confirm every religious conservative’s worst nightmare about the U.S. entertainment media industry, and thus couldn’t possibly be true, turned out to be only too true last week.

Lil Nas X- ingenue, budding cross-over pop star, erstwhile country singer of the hit single “Old Town Road”, released a limited edition Nike sneaker called the “satan shoes”.

Limited to a run of only 666 pairs, and advertised as containing a bronze pentacle, an inverted cross, and one drop of real human blood, the product launch was met with incredulity and confusion bordering on absolute pandemonium. Even among the purely secular, it was a bit shocking.

The launch of the “satan shoes” is completely understandable, from a purely mercenary marketing perspective. Very few companies using satan to market their products; easy to stand out when you stand alone.

Because in a virtual world full of shocking opinions, and opinions carefully designed to be outrageous, it is becoming harder and harder to distinguish yourself. Who will be the first to call out the next example of egregious racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, weightism, and every other social handicap that ails society?

Who can propose the most extreme solutions? Who can out-progressive the latest popular progressive?

On the right, it is a contest of who can next catch the corporate media lying, deceptively editing, and otherwise spinning the news in favor of the Democratic Party- or who can call out the titans of Silicon Valley for abusing their vast power the loudest.

Neither side is likely to run out of things to do anytime soon.

Determining who will be the next gold medalist in the outrage olympics has become a sort of national pastime in the media. As a result, we are living in a fully immersive marketing thunder-dome, with billionaire corporate competitors vying to see who can break the most rules next, garner the most attention.

And any publicity is good publicity.