Context – way too busy at work for this shit
R. Kelly is a goddamn genius. A genius who likes to pee on underage girls, but a genius none the less. To bastardize Jerrod Carmichael for a minute, “talent is greater than morality. We all pretend to be mad until ‘The Remix to Ignition’ comes on.” His words, not mine. He’s right though: I still dance to that song, albeit with the preface “R. Kelly is a disgusting human.”
Obvious disclaimers about how terrible R. Kelly’s personal life is for the rest of the world aside, Trapped in the Closet takes the idea of a concept album and brings it to some next level shit. This is just R. Kelly singing a story, voicing all the parts. This sounds like it would be repetitive and boring as hell, and that’s before we get to the best part.
Almost the entire thing is sung over the exact same sample, which somehow doesn’t get old after like an hour and fifteen minutes (or however long these 22 chapters are). That in and of itself is a miracle. I sat for 38 minutes and then for 43 additional minutes listening to the same damn beat on repeat, because that’s how good R. Kelly is.
I would attempt to describe the plot of Trapped in the Closet, but every chapter amps up the action in a way that would make Days of Our Lives think “that shit escalated quickly.”
I will say that the first 12 chapters are much better than the back half, with each chapter revealing something shocking and ridiculous to keep holding my attention. Chapters 13-22 start telling a more evenly paced story with grander implications, but at the detriment to the “I can’t believe this shit is going on” factor that the first chuck of Trapped in the Closet. I can’t comment on Chapters 23-33 because it’s behind a paywall and I don’t have $13 right now. Although as soon as I do I’m taking all of my friends on this journey with me.
I would recommend every human on earth goes through this pilgrimage as part of the trials into adulthood. Like, when you get your first cell phone it should make you watch this and quiz you on the events to make sure you were paying attention. Only then can you join civilization as a productive member. Especially if we treated it like collections of Tom and Jerry cartoons and had Whoopi Goldberg explain that “It’s never ok to be a sexual predator, but art is art and this is phenom.”
Now that we’re done exalting R. Kelly’s masterful ability to hold our attention while repeatedly insulting our intelligence and testing both our willpower and love for R. Kelly, it only seems fair to remind everyone that he is a sexual predator deserving a grand tour of all 7 circles of hell.