South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and rapper Lil Nas X spar on Twitter over $1,018 'Satan Shoes'

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called out rapper Lil Nas X via Twitter on Sunday, March 28, for his sale of the Nike shoes that had been modified to include a pentagram and a drop of blood, marketed as "Satan Shoes," framing them as part of the souls of children.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks to reporters in March at the Statehouse in Pierre. (Christopher Vondracek / Forum News Service)
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In one corner, it's the governor of South Dakota, most famous among conservatives for her refusal to pass statewide mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the other corner, a rapper who rocketed to fame in 2019 with the song "Old Town Road."

The battle? Over shoes. "Satan Shoes," specifically, with 666 pairs available for sale at $1,018 each.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called out rapper Lil Nas X via Twitter on Sunday, March 28, for his sale of Nike sneakers modified to include a pentagram and a drop of blood, marketed as "Satan Shoes."

Noem framed their sale as part of battle over the souls of children.

"We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win," she posted via her official Twitter account.


Lil Nas X quickly responded , calling out Noem's priorities (all spelling and capitalizations per Lil Nas X): "ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!"

Noem countered back with a Bible verse , specifically Matthew 16:26: "What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?"


Both Noem and Lil Nas X have reasons to argue over Twitter that transcends sneakers.

The rapper is promoting a new single and trying to sell shoes, and feuding with a state governor can't help but give him more publicity. His Twitter response to Noem has 180,000 likes as of Monday, March 29.

Noem, for her part, is facing some culture war credibility issues, according to some far-right critics . She was criticized last week by some conservative media outlets over her decision to send back a piece of legislation to state lawmakers, in a move known as a style and form veto.

The legislation, House Bill 1217, is designed to obstruct transgender girls and women from playing in girls' and women's sports. Noem's proposed revisions narrowed the provisions of the legislation.

Both her proposed changes, and the veto itself, were characterized by some on the political right as a betrayal of their shared principles, and they framed Noem as a failed culture warrior. Noem's office defended her choices and claimed her critics were trying to "cancel" her.

Rapper Lil Nas X' "Old Town Road" has engendered countless debates over what "country music" is. He performs onstage during the CMA Music Festival on June 8, 2019, in Nashville, Tenne. (Jason Kempin/Getty Images/TNS)

Jeremy Fugleberg is editor of The Vault, Forum Communications Co.'s home for Midwest history, mysteries, crime and culture. He is also a member of the company's Editorial Advisory Board.
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