History has wronged R. Kelly, the creator of the most popular, and perhaps the only hip hopera ever created.
“Trapped in the Closet” is a musical drama that challenges the traditional constraints of music videos. “Trapped in the Closet” consists of 33 chapters organized into three parts. Each chapter characteristically ends in an over-the-top suspenseful cliffhanger.
The series follows Kelly as Sylvester, the series protagonist, through a series of absurd twists while dealing with such taboo themes as adultery, domestic violence, homosexuality and organized crime.
The first five chapters were released on Kelly’s “TP.3 Reloaded” in 2005 with much attention from critics and the general public.
However, Kelly’s masterpiece has faded into obscurity even as The Independent Film Channel, or IFC for short, works to produce and release more chapters. In addition to the 33 chapters that have been released, Kelly has written 21 chapters that have yet to be filmed. Kelly has also written, directed and produced a stand alone mini series entitled “Trapped in the Closet: The Confessionals” in order to promote a third part, the most recent addition to the “Trapped in the Closet” series.
“Trapped in the Closet” is certainly Kelly’s greatest work to date and has been featured in a variety of cultural aspects. South Park paid homage to Kelly’s work by titling Episode 12 of Season 9 “Trapped in the Closet.” The series may soon come to stage, as rumors have been swirling around since 2012 regarding a possible Broadway adaption, with Kelly even hinting that he might star in the production.
Watch chapters 1-33 here.