Bavu Blakes’ Summer Vacation
Veteran rapper introduces new singles series
By Chase Hoffberger,
1:00PM, Mon. Aug. 4, 2014
Nothing gets in the way of one’s ability to create music like a spouse, offspring, and teaching job in which you’re personally responsible for 90 middle schoolers. Just ask chief adviser to Austin’s hip-hop scene, Bavu Blakes, a native talent whose once prolific release schedule has slowed.
Last Saturday, Blakes released his first new single in more than 26 months. “Summer Saturday Songs” drops an Arson Optics-produced track that’s a lively, up-tempo ode to doing dad things with your wife and toddler. He’s getting haircuts, making breakfast, mowing the lawn, and enjoying the occasional day off, everything he appreciates now that the bulk of his time is occupied by 7th grade language arts and reading students at nearby Decker Middle School.
“Summer is when I get to have fun with my family,” agrees Blakes, just back from a brief visit to Mojoe’s Easy Lee in Atlanta. “There’s also this certain aesthetic. Normally, summer Saturdays are a multi-generational affair, whether it’s a birthday, cookout, family reunion, or some time at the lake. All those things are the same scenario to me, a scenario most people associate with a good, positive part of their life.
“There’s a void of people making music specific to that.”
Save for Blakes.
Since closing up the classroom in early June, he’s materialized what he hopes will some day amount to a 25-song, multi-year collection of odes to familial amusement, with help from producers like Optics, Die Slo Entertainment’s Chamothy the Great, DJ Brimlo, SK the Greatest, and League of Extraordinary Gz abbot Reggie Coby.
“Right now I’m writing one about running out of summer since it’s nearly back to school time,” acknowledges the MC. “If nothing else, my son now has a really cool soundtrack to when he was growing up.”
He says he’d like to bring his “Summer Saturday Songs” into the live setting, but estimates it could end up being a number of years before that’s possible. For him, it would be possible only in the summer, when school’s out. Even then, Blakes’ focus remains on family.
“My wife and my son, they observe the process and get involved sometimes,” says the rapper, adding that his son, nearly 3, favors the part in the new single when the beat drops and his dad goes a cappella over a syncopated beat. “It’s almost an expression. It’s art. For a while, music was a super priority. I had other careers and opportunities that I threw away because I was obsessively passionate about doing music.
“Now, I consider it more of a harmonious passion than an obsessive passion.”