SOUNDCHECK: Bavu Blakes “Smiley Faces”

Show & Prove Presents…Soundcheck [Editor’s Note: Soundcheck is not an XXL Magazine or co-sign. It offers a platform for up-and-coming artists to be heard. You be the judge.]

Name: Bavu Blakes a.k.a. Mr. Blakes

YOE: Eight years

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Musical Influences: Soul, jazz, blues, rock, hip-hop/rap (Rakim, the D.O.C., Common) gospel, funk, classical.

Favorite Rap Album: Paid In Full by Eric B. & Rakim

Sales Pitch: Bavu Blakes is a Texas underground legend, and one of the best live performers and writers in Texas history. He’s an indie label’s dream, possessing an honest, authentic, original style and an unforgettable “Barry-tone” voice. Just ask Bun B, the D.O.C., Paul Wall or Erykah Badu. Bavu Blakes has played with every big name act you can ever imagine, including Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Erykah Badu, UGK, the Roots, De La Soul, Snoop Dogg, Devin the Dude, you name it. Don’t be surprised when Mr. Blakes fulfills his dream of world tours in the near future, because his live show game is top notch.

Bavu Blakes “Smiley Faces”

Wanna be featured in Soundcheck? Submit your songs to Remember, first come, first post.

Click here to see last week’s Soundcheck artist.

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Danny

    Not my style of hip-hop but not bad at all…

    Sounds better then most texas rap…

  • eightythreesNeightyfoes

    i heard a song he had with Paul Wall and CHOPS before that i liked but this I do not he need to get back and do some of that throwed type shit get some better productions and some good feature artist

  • Braile

    pardon me… but this not to hot hopefully he will get betta

    sike he straight he remind me of kuniva of d 12
    feel me like Braile

  • The Muthafuckin’ Rapture


  • BMZ


    Bavu Blakes doin it big!

    one of the best in Texas

  • Serious

    Bavu?! Bout time XXL put Texas’s best on! Hope to see more Bavu on XXL!

  • Alexander Richter

    mr.blakes at it again !

    • terri

      I’m feelin ya Bavu Blakes/Pikahsso, keep makin dem hits!!!

  • Alexander Richter

    Bavu killing it. Chorus is great.

  • 512

    Bavu a Texas legend, finally getting some publicity, its only a matter of time!


    Bavu been holding it down in Texas…. Kudos mon frere!!!

  • S1

    Up for da fam!!!! S1

  • ghettoManga mixtape

    this song is barely scraping the surface…
    dude is one’a them next level cats!

    you should check that song “star plair” on my mixtape page homie!

  • OG

    It goes down.

  • Da Bosnian


    Get it my man!!!

  • Slick

    Top 5 in TX rap history. Yall need to get familiar, dude has a huge catalogue been droppin for years.


    My first time hearing his name or music but I can tell from his rhyme’s he gotta brain and his own style.

    Best I’ve heard in this soundcheck series by far!!

    I’m from the N.Y.C. but the two cat’s you’ll had up here before sounded like they should be fans of the music and not attempting to do it!!!


    Ive seen Mr.Blakes live..and he’s not yo average rapper. Bavu is a smart cat! Im happy to see dude finally making it! AtX 787-23 512…-peace

  • arson

    bavu is a force to be reckoned with. pay attention

  • DJ Ryno

    Bavu Blakes…. dude is one of the hottest in the south…real rap with a laid back swag….get with it!

  • RealestRhymer

    Y’all not lying about his live performance, this dude kills it. I saw him a few times now and he is off the chain.

    This song is dope but it’s not the best on his EP. I downloaded it. You should too. Fuck it.

  • Pikahsso Jones

    WOW Bavu this is good news man keep up the good work man it’s good to see you get your shine man may God continue to bless you…VERB

  • mes the jive turkey

    this is some real shit. bavu is the truth

  • The Honest Ape

    Good to see Vu gettin his dues, good job by Pik on the chorus and S1 on the beat.

  • Pingback: Bavu Blakes………Get to know him « Theare’s Weblog

  • Unique Styles

    Bavu Blakes is way overdue for major. He is easily the best emceee in Texas with incredible rhyme patterns, a delivery that is very similar to Rakim, lyrics with actual content and meaning, and a live show that is entertaining and energetic. His catalog of music is classic. We consider Bavu Blakes a homework assignmnet for any wanna-be rappers.

  • 512 youngsta

    Bavu is sick!!
    He is in my top ten of Austin emcees along with Tee Double.
    Finally some smiley faces.

  • SLINGbladez



    • smells like a hater

      I smell hater…seems like its coming from above…

    • UpSouth

      Bavu Blakes! Big enuff to hate! Haha…

    • efslingblade

      Y HATE!

  • yard work

    Big up to Mr. Blakes…Extra Plair indeed…& that Pikahso cat is on some next level isht too!

    & LOL @ the salt up above using this as a place to cast hate & attempt to bigup themselves! Step yer grizzly up folks!

    Crabs in a barrell up in this yatch!


  • dookie alowishus

    get the fuck outta here, bavu a fraud by them niggas you named is hot, hell to da hell nawl. I’ve seen a bunch of them and ummm yeah. Lot of them cats and others wouldn’t be doing nothing in TX if Bavu hadn’t been grinding so hard. Congrats on the shine Vu, you beyond deserve it.

  • Picnic

    Yes, Bavu… you got the juice mayne. Keep on doin that.


  • Pingback: » [Bavu on]

  • That dude

    damn thats a nice song, this XXL sound check finally got good, that last cat was booty.

    I’ma have to check more for this Bavu

  • Deuce

    Bavu has always held it down for Texas. Keep doing it homie.

  • global74

    Bavu is your favorite rappers favorite Emcee.

    just check his catalogue and then you will see how gifted this guy is

  • global74


  • MalaTX

    Looks like a bunch of Bavu friends got on this comment page. Great PR campaign but way overrated artist, believe me.

  • Tahiti

    If you don’t like Bavu then you don’t like Hip Hop! Big ups to Pikahsso and Symbolyc One on the track too! Texas Heat!!!

  • Jack

    I’ve never heard of this guy but I’ll check for him now this song is good and different sounding.


    IF u DONT know about BAVU BLAKES aka Mr. Blakes u needa GOOGLE HIS NAME!!! Dudes been puttin in work for YEARS…this XXL exposure is WELL DESERVED…TEXAS GOT’CHA BACK HOMIE! U awready know what it is G

  • Siscle and Ebert

    Two thumbs down. Sounds like a horrible version of Royce da 5 9.

  • Skyhighworld

    Check out Mr. Blakes live..opening for Big Snoop Dogg and Slim Thugg…MTV Real Life in the house also.

  • Skyhighworld

    Check out Mr. Blakes live..opening for Big Snoop Dogg and Slim Thugg…MTV Real Life in the house also.

  • brdplya1

    Class act….


    Maan yall can’t fuck with Bavu we just did Bun B last week Hoes!!!!!!!! Go 2 Church!!!!!!! I 4 Give U

  • Fathyr Tyme

    Son is mad nice yo. The singin aint

  • PR Campaign

    I did not approve this message.

  • G-Unit Promo

  • Mofoz Visualz

    Bavu is the truth, bottom line.

    He has really never been fraud, i dont understand that comment from these other dudes.
    Austin hip hop pioneer, he has been paving the way for real hip hop artists in TX for a long time, and his new band sets are nothing short of amazing.

    I just finished hearing his tracks on Flowmasters 2 mixtape, both he and Crew 54 are doing the damn thing.

    keep doing your thing Vu, its inspiring. let the haters hate , thats what they do, let bavu keep making real music, thats what he does.

  • Flynn D

    First of all Bavu Blakes is a great lyricist and i have everyone of his releases and am glad that he is the wordsmith that he is!!!!He Deserves everything he is blessed with and will continue to rise in o8!!!!!Check the release The Woodgrain collection with Mr.Blakes and Rapid Ric and hear me on the skit on number 10.One love and mad props to a real dude and a real thinker and the epitome of raw and real soulful Texas Hip Hop.Also get his first release called CREATE AND HUSTLE IT IS DOPE!!!!!!

  • Pilarsito

    Dis song is tight, also feeling the hook. ATX stand up

  • TK

    Y’all that don’t know (and those that do) need to be downloading some Bavu at

    New song every week – worth it.

  • Hanifah Akbar

    THATS MY BROTHER ON THE HOOK, AND I LOVE THIS TRACK ITS HOTT!!! Its not the average song you here on the radio and thats what makes it really catchy. Keep doing your thing Bavu and Pikhasso.. Raised in Atlanta Representing Texas

  • brook

    bavu is one of god’s instruments…

  • Mr Supreme the Pro

    Bavu is one of our cornerstone emcees. I just want to say keep holdin’ it down for us. Austin, Texas

    23 Represent 4LIFE

  • Space Nuggets

    sorry but this song is just sub par to me.i have heard of bavu and heard his name before but i dont know him personally,and it looks like most if not all of the good comments here are coming from bavus friends.It seems that in this day of hiphop if you dont feel someones music then ur a is that?if i’m not feeling a track then thats my opinion.personally to me this kat puts me to sleep.i’ve heard much better artist from texas and austin specifically.i wont put names out because once again i will be called a hater.i mean top 5 in tx rap history?texas legend?WOW.u gotta be kidding me right,Geto Boys,UGK,D.O.C.,Badu,PAPA CHUK,K-otix,SLIMM THUG,ESG,LIL FLIP just to name a few and i’m not even from texas and i dont even like most of those kats but come on.i mean how old is this guy anyway?maybe he needs to be managing at this point if he’s a so called legend and still not put on.i mean think about it.there has to be a be called a legend u have to have a serious catalogue that everyone knows about and not just your friends.any hoo,i know i’m gonna be looked at as a hater so let it commence.but real recognize real.and this ish is not.peace

  • Dubb Sicks

    Big ups Vu is good people.

  • gargantua

    damn Houston hip hop is getting its ass handed to itself these days by Austin and Dallas..this is hott stuff
    glad to see that other styles of Texas hip hop are on the come up

  • meagin

    i just dont understand how they do a first come first post. they problly get enuff songs in a week sent in to post for a lifetime.well i sent my shit in bout two weeks ago. ne body wanna hear it 2 praise,constructively critisize it, or just plain ol haters can check me out at song i sent in is NO GOOD, Beat by 2toxic.prociate feedback,

  • GreedyGeneral

    Check me out:

    We rock.

  • Velisa

    Bavu Blakes doin it big as usual and doin it well. Congrats!

  • Mike >E< Money

    this is some kinder garden wack texas style kinda shit…. i give this a 2/10 rating…. i don’t even know why xxl put a fucking banger on this stupid ass nigga

  • Austin Resident

    Yeah, he’s a nice guy, but damn, shit is bland as oatmeal, and he hasn’t had a release (other than mixtapes) out in 4 years at least. This fool gets mad play, but it never goes anywhere. First he’s underground, then he’s down south, now he’s just stuck in the middle and no one really cares. The song doesn’t suck but it isn’t really good either, and the sample has been used a million times and the drums sound like pre-set doo-doo

  • Austin Resident

    First he was a conscious rapper, then a down south rapper, now he’s just caught in the middle. The song is boring as oatmeal. It’s not bad, not good just boring. This guy hasn’t put out an album in 3 or 4 years, besides mixtapes and one 12″ he was featured on. He only has 2 official releases that I’m aware of the most recent being Create and Hustle. I haven’t seen him tour, or play in Austin, since sxsw 2005. I can’t relate to a married, middle age guy who dosen’t drink, smoke, party, curse and who is middle of the road, it’s just uninteresting.

  • Pingback: | Hip-Hop On A Higher Level | » Jax “Wing Clap”