Nike And Brooklyn-Based Company MSCHF Product Studio Inc Reach Settlement In Lil Nas X ‘Satan Shoes’ Trademark Lawsuit

ike and MSCHF have reached a settlement in the trademark infringement battle over a pair of modified sneakers that were being sold in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.

Nike filed the suit last week against MSCHF after it launched a pair of modified Nike Air Max 97s called the “Satan Shoes” with Lil Nas X. The shoes, priced at $1,018 and decorated with a pentagram pendant and a drop of human blood in the soles, quickly sold out.

The sneakers drew outrage online, and some called for a boycott of Nike, though the company had nothing to do with the shoe. Nike made a federal filing against MSCHF, and a judge granted a temporary injunction to halt the fulfillment of “Satan Shoes” orders.

A settlement was reached in which MSCHF will issue a voluntary recall on the shoes and offer a buy-back program for previously released modified Nike sneakers it called “Jesus Shoes,” Nike confirmed to NBC News on Thursday.

“If any purchasers were confused, or if they otherwise want to return their shoes, they may do so for a full refund,” Nike said in a statement, reaffirming that it had nothing to do with the shoes. “Purchasers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product issue, defect or health concern should contact MSCHF, not Nike.”

MSCHF agreed to settle the lawsuit after realizing it “already achieved its artistic purpose,” David H. Bernstein, an attorney for MSCHF, told NBC News. The shoes were “individually numbered works of art that will continue to represent the ideals of equality and inclusion,” he said.

“With these Satan Shoes — which sold out in less than a minute — MSCHF intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance” in partnership with Lil Nas X, Bernstein said.

The release of the “Satan Shoes” coincided with Lil Nas X’s latest single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and its accompanying music video. In the video, Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, is seduced out of what appears to be the Garden of Eden, falls into hell and gives the devil a lap dance.

Lil Nas X defended the shoes as the single and the video got increased attention. The single debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

After the release of the song Friday, Lil Nas X put out an open letter to his younger self about coming out. The rapper, who is openly gay, explained that the song was about a guy he met last summer.

“I know we promised to never come out publicly, I know we promised to never be ‘that’ type of gay person, I know we promised to die with the secret, but this will open doors for many other queer people to simply exist,” he wrote.

The music video for “Montero” includes a voiceover with a similar message.

“In life, we hide the parts of ourselves we don’t want the world to see,” he says. “We lock them away. We tell them, ‘No.’ We banish them. But here, we don’t. Welcome to Montero.”

Source: NBC News

MF DOOM, Renowned Masked And Masterful Rap Artist, Dead At 49

MF Doom, the cerebral and willfully mysterious rapper and producer beloved by hip-hop connoisseurs for the complex rhymes he delivered from behind a metallic mask, has died. He was 49.

His death was announced Thursday in an Instagram post signed by his wife, Jasmine, who said that Doom had “transitioned” on Oct. 31. A spokesman for Rhymesayers, a label for which Doom recorded, confirmed his death. No cause was given.

Known for close collaborations with producers such as Madlib and Danger Mouse — and for his use of a variety of alter egos including King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn — Doom, born Daniel Dumile, cut a proudly idiosyncratic path through rap music in the 1990s and 2000s, burrowing deep into a self-made comic book-style mythology even as hip-hop reached increasingly commercial heights in the pop mainstream.

His music was dense but funky, gloomy yet streaked with an off-kilter sense of humor; his records helped clear a path for younger hip-hop eccentrics like Playboi Carti and Tyler, the Creator.

“My soul is crushed,” Flying Lotus tweeted Thursday, before adding that 2004’s “Madvillainy” album was “all u ever needed in hip hop.” On Instagram, El-P of Run the Jewels thanked Doom “for keeping it weird and raw always.”

Of his decision to perform in a mask, Dumile, who was born in London and grew up on Long Island, told the New Yorker in 2009, “I wanted to get onstage and orate, without people thinking about the normal things people think about. Like girls being like, ‘Oh, he’s sexy,’ or ‘I don’t want him, he’s ugly,’ and then other dudes sizing you up. A visual always brings a first impression. But if there’s going to be a first impression I might as well use it to control the story. So why not do something like throw a mask on?”

Source: LA Times

Adidas x Star Wars ‘The Mandalorian Collection’ Available Now

Everybody’s favourite spacefaring Western in The Mandalorian is back with its second season on Disney+. And what better way to celebrate the hugely-popular Star Wars spinoff than with a brand-spanking new Adidas Originals x Star Wars sneaker pack inspired by the show?

The Mandalorian Collection is a massive pack featuring not one, not two, but nine silhouettes inspired by the various iconic characters of the show. And the best part is that they are all available now on the Adidas US online store, alongside other Adidas Originals x Star Wars collaborations, including Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, and Chewbacca.

Leading the lineup is the NMD_R1 The Mandalorian Shoes, which pay homage to the series’ titular helmeted protagonist. It actually comes in two colourways; the first is a beautifully subtle Core Black/Simple Brown/Silver Metallic colourway (US$140 / S$200), and the other is a more earthy, kids-only Brown/Pale Nude/Maroon variant (US$120 / S$150).

Source: Geek Culture

Apple and Tesla are doing stock splits. Here’s what that actually means to investors

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When a company splits its stock, its total value doesn’t change; it just ends up with more stocks, each at a cheaper cost.

Here’s a food metaphor: If you ask the guy at the pizzeria to cut each slice in your large pie in half, you’ll still go home with the same amount of pizza. You just have more, smaller slices now.

Companies typically say they’re splitting their stocks to make them affordable to more people.

But, is that reality? It’s more of a way to grab headlines and bring in money, said certified financial planner Douglas Boneparth, founder and president of Bone Fide Wealth in New York.

“This was done as a marketing tool to get smaller investors to invest in the stock,” Boneparth said. “The actual mechanics of the company are the same.”

And therefore, so are your chances of making a profit on either Tesla or Apple, experts say.

“People ultimately want to know, ‘What does this mean for my bottom line?’” Boneparth said. “The answer is: nothing.”

If you own Apple in an index fund, for example, it’s as if you had a dollar that just turned into four quarters, Boneparth said.

Source: CNBC