TBT: Trapped In The Closet

Trapped in the Closet is the 33 volume rap opera created by R.Kelly which ran from 2005 to 2012. If you just read that last sentence like, “Yeah, duh,” then take a second to actually process it because this is literally one of the weirdest things that’s ever happened.

The story starts with “Sylvester” AKA R.Kelly waking up in an unfamiliar bed after cheating on his wife, being forced to hide from her husband in a closet and then getting caught when his cell phone rings (hence why my cell has been on vibrate for the last decade.) After that, it pretty much all falls to shit. R.Kelly has publicly gone on record saying even he doesn’t understand the full plot.

How was this spectacular shitshow made possible? Here’s how I imagine the conversation going:

Producer: So today’s the day we’re filming every episode of Trapped in the Closet. We only have $100 for the budget but we’ll just have to make it work. You wrote all the lyrics right?
R.Kelly: Huh?
Producer: Alright fuck it just make it up as you go.

And indeed he did.

I’m not even going to attempt to give a comprehensive synopsis, but here are some of the highlights: R.Kelly’s voice being the same for every character except for the fat lady with a twang, the midget, when the midget uses an inhaler because he is so stressed out, when the midget faints (twice), R.Kelly’s face the entire time, when he starts crying during sex, the absurdly outfitted pimp, all of it.

You could try to make sense of this, but the world of Trapped in the Closet is not one where sense applies. This is a place where R.Kelly is the rational hero, just trying to sort out some strange shit that’s going on after he had a wild night out. I know he gave us Ignition Remix, but he’s also famous for peeing on someone and a slew of other sex crimes. I’m not really rooting for him. If anything, I mostly want to commend the costume director for the fantastic purple suit that the midget wears. That was literally the best part.

I don’t really recommend watching these again, because the “He walks up to the closet” line is already burned into my brain after one viewing. But TBT to the fact that this was real and not some creepy dream you had in middle school.


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