For our third installment of Spinning Platters “Midnght” Music Movies (this one starts at 10:30) at The New Parkway, we are thrilled to be able to present to you the first 22 chapters of R Kelly’s magnum opus Trapped In The Closet. Tickets are moving awfully fast (not just marketing speak), and you should buy them right away!
For those of you aren’t in the know, here’s a little background on Trapped: It all began as a 5-part song cycle on R Kelly’s 2005 album TP3.COM Reloaded. He filmed music videos for all five chapters, telling the story of Sylvester and his one night of infidelity with a pastor’s wife that led to a whole series of events that could have been avoided if he had just stayed faithful to his wife. Over the course of the story, which is up to 33 chapters now, there are plenty of unexpected twists and surprises, and every character is voiced by R Kelly. It’s a cross between an epic poem, a soap opera, and oratorio.
To understand where Trapped came from, one needs to look at R Kelly’s life at the time of production. His 2002 sex scandal caused a pretty brutal hit to his reputation, and he needed a reinvention. In 2004, he put out a double record, Happy People/U Saved Me, a rather G-rated affair that attempted to clean up his image, but failed to match “Chocolate Factory” artistically or commercially. There was also an ill fated tour with Jay Z that ended up getting abruptly canceled as a result of a personal dispute between the two headliners. Kelly had a pretty rough start to the decade, and I believe that Trapped, if indirectly, was a response to that period. Trapped was such a weird and beautiful piece of work that not only did it reaffirm his place as the “Pied Piper of R&B,” it also led to his becoming a cult icon of sorts, transcending not only R&B, but music overall.
Thanks to IFC and The New Parkway, this will be an audience participation event. The first 50 people through the door will be getting goodie bags for use throughout the film, and we will be giving out some R. Kelly goodies as prizes, too. Speaking of prizes, email rkelly at spinningplatters.com with your name and the name of your favorite R. Kelly song. We’ll give one lucky responder a pair of tickets to the movie!