Baltimore’s Voxel returns to in-person showings with Blast of Funk and Black Futurism

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Presented by the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, “Funktopia – A Super Afro Intergalactic Tribute To Hip Hop And Funk” features Baltimore-based hip-hop artists Meek S. Blaylock and Dre “Drizzy Tha Don” Thompson. (Photo: Facebook, Baltimore Rock Opera Society)

By Alexis Taylor
Special to the AFRO

The Voxel has reopened to in-person shows with a blast of funk for patrons willing to take a galactic trip with some of Baltimore’s finest performers. 

Presented by the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, “Funktopia – A Super Afro Intergalactic Tribute To Hip Hop And Funk” features Baltimore-based hip-hop artists Meek S. Blaylock and Dre “Drizzy Tha Don” Thompson. 

The show opened to three sold out performances by the pair that pays homage to the likes of George Clinton, Kendrick Lamar and Outcast with a 9-piece band, DJ Harvey Dent and vocalists. 

“This show is a world that exists on the other side of the Underground Railroad, it lives in the North Star,” said Director and Music Supervisor Jonathan Gilmore. “What if Harriet was not talking about ‘the North’ being ‘freedom?’ What if ‘freedom’ was another planet? A place we can exist beyond the White gaze and colonialism.”

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“Black Futurism is a way to see Black people exist and thrive in our own multi-layered culture. Our imaginations are our only limit.”

Gilmore curated the piece and also picked up credits as stage writer, with Ben Pierce as set director and Myles Gilmore as costume director. The show was choreographed by Assistant Director Stevanie Williams. Petula Caesar lent her talents as co-creator and executive producer. 

Principal performers Blaylock and Thompson say they knew the show would be a powerful addition to the culture from the very first table read.

“This is the intersection of funk and hip-hop. It just made sense for me to get on board with it,” said Thompson. “I’m always down to showcase hop-hop in any shape or form.”

Blaylock tells viewers to “be prepared to go from the Underground Railroad to over the rainbow. We’re touching souls and everyone is going to move. 

“We got something for grandma too!”

Though tickets were snatched up long ago, the Baltimore Rock Opera Society will be live streaming the last show for free on Sept. 24th. For more information, please visit https://baltimorerockopera.secure.force.com/ticket/#/events/a0S6g0000035e7NEAQ.

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