Hip-hop/Spirituality/Freethinking. Speaking for all underdogs!
Beast Mode: Anything Less is not Your Best!
If you think I sit around and watch these Internetz then, well, you’d be correct! But I’m not one of these reactionary bloggers, devoid of a life, some liberty and the “pursuit of happyness”—waiting for shit to happen. Nah! Count yourself among those who haven’t read any of my six books or perused any of my over 300 blogs, many of them about me (‘cause I’m narcissistic like that!)—like the “The Adventures of an OG On The Loose,” for instance. So let’s get that shit straight! I’m in your city, your town and your club—and in your girl’s pants face on any given weekend! This ol’ ass Negro!
As of late, I’ve had to go “beast mode” on a few people—Don “Magic” Juan, Dr. Boyce Watkins, Reverend Run—and now Dr. Watkins—again! “Beast mode!”
The good Dr. Boyce Watkins don’ rubbed me the wrong way again; this time aiming his scholarly insights at professional footballer, Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks who refers to himself as “Beast Mode.” Dr. Watkins wrote, “As much as I love Marshawn [“Beast Mode”] Lynch as a football player, the name ‘beastmode’ bothers me a little bit, mainly because there’s a long history of whites marveling at big, strong black men and thinking of them as beasts.”
Here we go again—worried about how the white man perceives us’s—black folk. Indeed. White folk, in times past did think of black men as beasts and strapping bucks. There is a wealth of books describing the white man’s sheer disdain for black men as human beings. “The Slave Community,” by John Blassinggame, “Before The Mayflower,” by Lerone Bennett Jr., “Up From Slavery,” by Booker T. Washington, “From Slavery To Freedom,” by John Hope Franklin, “The Wretched of the Earth,” by Franz Fanon, “The Destruction of Black Civilization,” by Chancellor Williams, etc., etc. The wretched and inhumane and deplorable history of the African in the Diaspora is without peer!
But we’re talking football—slang—hip-hop influenced lingo! Beast or “Beast mode” is common hip-hop slang/language for “giving it your all,” “going ape-shit crazy” on your opponent— “wreckin’ shit,” “running amok,” “wreaking havoc,” “beating the breaks off”—colorful phraseology, common amongst black folk, especially in hip-hop culture. Rappers have long used this phrase when referring to their lyrical dexterity. “Man! I was in beast mode on that track!” Dudes kissing & telling to each other say, “I went beast mode on that ass! Put her right to sleep!”
Beast mode does not denote subhuman-ness, as Dr. Watkins suggests (well, maybe to a few crackas inbreeds in the South who screw their sisters). Historical gymnastics has Dr. Watkins somersaulting through history to come to these conclusions about the phrase “beast mode.” Dare I say that the average white person does not think of black men as subhuman when they hear the phrase “beast mode?” Unlike Dr. Watkins, they understand the context in which Marshawn Lynch uses it. Anything done to the extreme, with zest & zeal could be considered “beast mode”—even having sex!
During the Antebellum Period (slavery), white men and white women may have had their reasons for thinking of the black man as a “beast”—but for different reasons! White men were steeped in racism and their perceived subhumanness of black men, while a considerable amount of white women may have thought of the black man as a “beast” for his sexual prowess—the not-so-mythical “well-endowed strapping black buck.” This stereotype is rooted in some truth. If it were not so, why has pert-near erry white woman heard about the black man’s big dick? Not every black man has a big hanglow, but white women tend to think the majority do (and I have to admit, I’m blessed!)
Historian Lerone Bennett Jr. writes, “Miscegenation [race-mixing] in the South, the larger part of such race mixture was due to the union of black males and white females.” Indeed, black men, in slavery times were “beating the brakes” off Miss Ann (the white woman)—going “beast mode” on that ass and word spread rapidly and rampantly!
By Dr. Watkins’ logic and revisiting of this word “beast”—today white men should be trying to hide their wives and white women probably get moist between the thighs. Dr. Watkins only hones in on the white male, giving us the milquetoast and sanitized version of what was going on back in slavery times, but I’m keeping it trill for you!
From the point of view of religion, most Christian scholars refer to “beast” as a powerful nation that seeks to encompass, rule and destroy. “Beasts” are also referred to as the ungodly, as referenced in II Peter 2:12, which says, “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not…”
Similarly, a black man (God forbid!), Elijah Muhammad taught that a whole race of people were “beasts,” (i.e. white people) so the word beast is not exclusive to the white man. The white man does not have a monopoly on the word!
Black academicians of the Dr. Boyce Watkins ilk have a lot of ed-u-ma-cation book learnin'. They receive a B.S. degree and don’t realize that that’s just what it is in many cases—B.S.—Bullshit! And then they matriculate a lil bit mo’ and get that M.S. Degree—More Shit! And then they reach the lofty heights of PH.D., which is just that same ol’ shit—"Piled Higher & Deeper." I went “beast-mode”—“beef-stew” in college. I too, own a couple of dem degrees, but my stay in higher academia was about going to the “lie-bury” (library) and unburying the lies of my existence (and a lil pussy-chasing & frat partying).
As the “conscious” black man that I am, I remember when I was looking for the “white devil” in every word—dissecting the sublime. Indeed, I remember screwing white chicks as reparations for black suffering and paying homage to Eldridge Cleaver’s “Omnipotent Administrator” by indulging a white chick’s racist fantasy of fucking the big black buck. In my mind, every black man thought like this when he had a white woman’s head firmly locked in the corner of the bed and her legs behind her ears. Its payback time bitch and I love you too! It went way beyond Cornel West’s, “Race Matters” back then! I totally embraced the “beast mode” moniker in the sack when it came to white women.
I’m sure that Dr. Watkins, being a conscious black man (or maybe he was just chasing that Finance Degree), somewhere in his college career, went “beast mode” with a white chick—or was he up in the dorm reading all three volumes of J.A. Rogers’ “Sex & Race” to a white woman as foreplay? (You ain’t lived until you’ve gone “beast mode” on a white chick’s stank box!)
Beast mode is just that! A hip way of saying that you went all the way to the extreme and if Marshawn Lynch needs this phrase to get himself hyped for the game—great! And now that Marshawn lost the Superbowl, he needs to go “beast mode” on whoever called that dingbat play to lose the biggest game of his career! Beast mode! Anything less is not your best!
Khalil Amani writes for Allhiphop.com, DJ Kay Slay’s Originators & Straight Stuntin Magazines. He’s been featured in L.A. Times, Spin Magazine, DaveyD.com, The Biography Channel. Author of six books, including the groundbreaking “Hip-Hop Homophobes…” (iuniverse.com ’07). Follow on IG @khalil_amani, Facebook, Twitter @khalilamani.