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Trapped in The Closet Part 1

That's it, the .gif that is responsible for this. Thanks to Technoir, I found myself revisiting the R. Kelly "rap opera" Trapped in the Closet. For those of you who are unfamiliar with TITC, it is a 33 chapter story that sprung out of a five-part song of the same name. R. Kelly sing talks the entire thing, all of the dialogue, all of the narration, all of the insanity. The entire thing is available on YouTube and I recommend that every adult watch it. Not because it is good, but more as a lesson in unintentional comedy.

I will only be discussing Chapters 1-6 today. I may do more, but only time and my patience for forced rhyming will tell. These chapters make up the first part of the first part of the epic and have a total running time of about 26 minutes. If you have never seen any of these chapters, each one ends on a cliffhanger line much like an episode of a soap opera. The chapters don't have titles so I made some up.


Chapter 1 "Trapped in the Closet"

This chapter opens with an establishing shot of the skyline of Chicago. We meet our hero? Sylvester, played by R. Kelly waking up in a strange bed in a strange room. A woman, who we later learn is named Kathy, enters and Sylvester doesn't immediately recognize her, but apparently they hooked up at a club the night before.Now Sylvester wants to leave because he is married and the plot demands it. Kathy insists that Sylvester cannot leave because her husband has just arrived home. She has Sylvester hide in the closet instead. The husband, whose name is Rufus, comes into the bedroom and begins to greet his wife properly, if you know what I mean, But, then Sylvester's cell phone rings!! DRAMA!! Rufus searches the bathroom, under the bed and in a dresser drawer for some reason, trying to find out who is in their house. Then he approaches the closet! Sylvester pulls out a pistol. "Now he's opening the closet...."

Chapter 2 "Gun Safety is for Punks"

Rufus opens the closet door and Sylvester immediately points the gun in his face. It should be noted here that if appears no one involved with the production of this film has ever held a gun. R. Kelly sticks his entire index finger all the way through the trigger constantly. That's dangerous! Anyways, in this chapter we learn that Rufus is a pastor and that he also has a secret. At the core, that is what Trapped in the Closet is all about; everybody is doing something behind someone else's back. Rufus makes a phone call and tells someone to come on back to the house. There is a knock on the door and Rufus opens it. "I can't believe it's a man....."


Chapter 3 "Have You Folks Considered Couples Therapy?"

Chapter 3 basically consists of Rufus and Kathy arguing and Rufus and his lover, who is named Chuck, saying that they are in love and are going to get married. The revelation that Rufus and Chuck have been "creepin", as Chuck so eloquently describes it, for some time does not seem to fit with the amount of attention that Rufus was giving to Kathy in Chapter 1, but what the hell do I know. It's all irrelevant since this chapter seems to exist only so Sylvester can call home and get a nasty surprise. "Call up my home and a man picks up the phone...."


Chapter 4 "If You Don't Have the Budget For Driving Scenes, Don't Use Driving Scenes"

The story moves right along in Chapter 4 with Sylvester racing home in his luxury convertible to confront his wife. It is never explained in Chapters 1-11 what Sylvester does for a living, but since he drives a high end car, lives in a mansion, and carries a pistol all the time, I'm going to make an educated guess and say that he is a doctor. Sylvester is racing home, speeding without his seat belt on (R. Kelly is not a good role model) when he is pulled over by the police! Holy shit, it's Omar from The Wire! That's right! Michael Kenneth Williams plays James, the cop! A little trivia for you; the role of James was originally not played by Williams, but Chapter 4 had to be re-shot when the characters role was expanded.


Sylvester finally makes it home where he finds his wife, Gwendolyn, taking a shower. He confronts her about who picked up the phone and she says it was her brother Twan. Sylvester apologizes and what follows is a sex scene that is not only NSFW, but possibly not suitable for anywhere. R. Kelly writes sex scenes like slash fiction starring R. Kelly. It's uncomfortable to watch and listen to R. Kelly give himself a lyrical hand job. But then, a twist! After Sylvester pulls back the covers, "Oh, my God, a rubber!" (It should be noted that rubber is repeated several times, softer and softer.)

Chapter 5 "The Plot Gets Convoluted"

Chapter 5 only exists to tie together Sylvester, Gwendolyn, James and Chuck and Rufus. Gwendolyn also mentions her friends Tina and Roxanne who won't actually be introduced as characters until the later chapters. It's starting to seem like R. Kelly actually had a plan this whole time. You hear that, Damon Lindelof? R. Kelly could do it, what the hell is your excuse? Chapter 5 is also important because it reveals that Sylvester has a framed silhouette of Sylvester hanging in his bedroom! Genius. Also, connections. "She introduced me to the policeman that stopped you."


Chapter 6 "We Laughed, We Cried, We Shot A Man"

Sylvester and Gwendolyn do the one thing that people do when they discover a twisted web of infidelity; they laugh and talk about how crazy the whole thing is, including how crazy it was that Rufus was cheating on his wife with a gay man. C'mon R. Kelly! You made this video in 2005! There were gay people then! James returns to the house to check on the situation. When he arrives, he mistakes Sylvester and Gwendolyn laughing for crying and busts in the bedroom gun drawn. There is a struggle between Sylvester and James, both of whom demonstrate poor trigger awareness. Then, "Goin' all around the room, both hands on the gun, then all of a sudden, pow."

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