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Defend This: "Trapped in the Closet"

Defend This: "Trapped in the Closet"

What, exactly, was R. Kelly thinking when he started recording "Trapped in the Closet," his magnum opus (of sorts) that is premiering its latest chapters on IFC this week? Did he think he had a mainstream hit on his hands? Is he playing a joke on us? Does he exist in a bizarre alternate universe where this truly is a quality song/music video/whatever it is? Is he punking the entertainment industry? Is he trying to make us laugh? And, if so, should we be laughing with him or at him?

I tried to resist "Trapped in the Closet" when I first heard about it, but I finally caved and watched the first chapter — still a classic, in my mind, given that it features the actual scene with R. literally trapped in the closet. From there, I was a "Trapped" evangelist, insisting to everyone who would listen that this might be the biggest pop culture trainwreck ever. I even watched the commentary on the DVD of the first 12 chapters, incredulous at how R. clearly thinks he's got an Oscar-worthy project on his hands. But I'm still surprised that he pulled off the coup of getting IFC — which I thought was a relatively credible network devoted to promoting independent film — involved. Maybe "Trapped" isn't something to be mocked anymore. Maybe it's serious art.

Or not. I'm so blinded by the bizarreness that I can't tell anymore. So, "Trapped" watchers, I'm giving you the ultimate challenge: Justify this project in the comments below. If you're uninitiated, and you want to see a recap of the first 12 chapters with some fairly NSFW swearing, just

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tralalala tralalala 8 years
Effing fantastic. But not as good as I Know Who Killed Me, which I saw yesterday. I laughed until I almost peed.
JustMe21 JustMe21 8 years
Dumb.
NMM911 NMM911 8 years
Boyslover is right...he needs to go to court!
mshoney18 mshoney18 8 years
I've only seen the first five and I thought they were funny. That I can give him. I'm wondering if he's decided to give up singing because it seems like all he does now is talk over music.
sugarbecky sugarbecky 8 years
I love this series, not for its quality*, but for the pure randomness of what he's sure to come up with next. (*term used very loosely) How many chapters can he go? That's the fun, nobody knows! :pepino:
miss-britt miss-britt 8 years
My mom is in love with this series. I think it okay but i can't listen to the entire thing, and definitely can not watch him perform it. Remember when he performed that thing all by himself at the VMAs a few years ago? Actually the reason why he did this is because he was listening to old shows that use to be told on the radio, like the war of the world. And he thought it would be cool to create one since it's not in anymore.
theboyslover theboyslover 8 years
he needs to be trapped in a jail cell! pervert! GO TO TRIAL MR. R
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 8 years
I can't say if its art or not but its really entertaining and funny. We (us girls in my office) have been visting ifc.com everyday waiting on the next chapter. You got to give R Kelley credit he does have us wondering what twist will he pull out next, I mean who was expecting the little person (called Mr. Big, nonetheless) under the cabinet?
Mainly-Obsessed Mainly-Obsessed 8 years
Think. Think. Quick, put me in the closet! Some Oscar worthy dialog there.
rubialala rubialala 8 years
WTH, that's hilarious. The video editing is terrible! "Oh sh!t" is right!
JennaV JennaV 8 years
I think Trapped in the Closet is hilarious :rotfl:
yungnfab yungnfab 8 years
well he is the first person to try and mix acting w/ singing all in one place he may not be the best at it but at least he is being innovative
nikkigirl1226 nikkigirl1226 8 years
Its pretty funny- kinda like R Kelly's new thing- He LOVES singing stories or conversations- Trapped In the Closet and then the song with Usher "Messin with the Same Girl" the video is hilarious it's him and Usher on a phone conversation- his own little versions of broadway Musicals-
swwonder swwonder 8 years
I don't know if this is in it's defense, but I think it's absolutely hilarious!
gruaig_rua gruaig_rua 8 years
There's a dvd?! :SICK:
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