pronounced (bah-VOO) the Force


Born in Washington, D.C.

Raised and grade-schooled in Garland, Texas.

Based in Austin, TX.

HipHopGrewUp founder Bavu Blakes is deliberately walking through the intersection of Hip Hop, education & spirituality. The scholar emcee is a 7th grade humanities teacher who tutors, mentors, leads emcee workshops & men’s fellowships, & hosts community events including concerts.

The University of Texas at Austin broadcast journalism graduate is also an award-winning Hip Hop artist whose studio collaborators include Grammy winners Adrian Quesada, Symbolyc One (S1) & Gary Clark Jr., as well as people’s champ Paul Wall.


sanct [ photo by brandon savoy ]

Bavu [Kiswahili for ‘force’ ] has rapped and sang on 16 vinyl records, performed at music festivals including Austin City Limits and South by Southwest, voiced Patrick Mouratoglou’s 5-minute biography reel, hosted “Bavu’s Revue” on KAZI 88.7 FM and a TV show called “Smooth” on Music and Entertainment Television (where he served as Urban Music Director), freelanced a bit for the Austin American-Statesman 

Bavu has shared the stage with, and interviewed, many artists including Wynton Marsalis, Blackeyed Peas, Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dogg, The Roots, Dallas Austin, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Erykah Badu, Common, Anthony Hamilton, UGK, Mos Def, Raheem Devaughn, Slick Rick, Slim Thug, De La Soul, Rakim, DJ A-Trak, Angie Stone, Dwele, Jurassic 5, Jeffrey Osborne, Paul Wall & Chamillionaire, DJ Krush…

Bavu has provided content for, or appeared in, the following publications: The Dallas Morning News, Austin American Statesman, The Source, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, VIBE, Billboard, Spin, Houston Chronicle, Dayton Daily News, Austin Chronicle and many more…

Bavu has done broadcasting work for Patrick Mouratoglou, Red Bull Sound Select, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Dell Lounge, M.E. Television, KAZI 88.7 FM, Austin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Austin American-Statesman, Subway, Detroit Pistons, Kolar Advertising and many more…


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