The Washington Post

R. Kelly’s new ‘Trapped in the Closet’ videos: A first look makes it feel like 2005 all over again

As noted in today’s morning mix , R. Kelly will add great joy to our Thanksgiving weekends by releasing new chapters of his hip-hopera “Trapped in the Closet” on Nov. 23, the day after Turkey Day.

R. Kelly, reading from the classic tale of betrayal and people named Pimp Lucius. (Via

Given all the tryptophan, alcohol and pumpkin-pie sugar that will still be slam-banging its way through our systems on that day, this really could not be timed more appropriately.

As previously noted in this blog, IFC will air the new installments, which pick up where chapter 22 left off back in 2007. To give us all an early taste, the network has posted what it’s referring to as Chapter 23, which is basically, depending on how you choose to describe it: a summary of what happened in the first 22 videos; a clip show; or a mash-up between a slow jam and “Masterpiece Theater.”

Either way, man, is it enjoyable, for so many reasons.

It makes it feel like the mid-’00s again, which is a good thing because pretending it’s the past is always superior to dealing with the present or (shudder) the future. It’s really great to see R. Kelly singing other people’s highly dramatic phone conversations, pulling a Tyler Perry by dressing up as both Rev. Mosley and Pimp Lucius and, at the end, staring longingly into the distance while asking “Where are you, Chuck?” even though I can barely remember who Chuck is because I watched most of these videos at 2 in the morning one night in 2007. It’s fun to remember that, oh my God, Omar Little was in this! And it’s also sobering to realize that even after watching this pseudo-recap, I still have zero grasp on the progression or logic (if any) of the “Trapped in the Closet” narrative.

In summary: glorious. Watch below. Be forewarned: there are a couple of NSFW words in here.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.