“Trapped in the Closet” returns

R. Kelly is back with more episodes of Trapped in the Closet, airing right now on IFC.com.

For those who don’t know, Trapped in the Closet has become a musical sensation and made R. Kelly even more infamous than those sex tapes he made with underage girls.

Billed as a “Hip-Hopera”, Trapped is the story of Sylvester (played by Kelly), a Chi-town gangsta who becomes a key participant in the scandalous world that surrounds him. The story line is like something out of Jerry Springer, but set to a simple melody that seems to keep going like the Energizer Bunny.

In the first 12 chapters, Sylvester wakes up to find he’s in a strange woman’s bed. He quickly remembers that he went home from the club the night before with a woman who he thought was named Mary, but is actually Cathy. Before he can think about what happened, she shoves him into the closet to hide as her husband, Rufus, comes home.

Sylvester is busted when his cell phone rings and Rufus discovers him hiding in the closet. Instead of just leaving, Sylvester pulls out his gun and threatens Rufus and, instead of behaving within the realm of plausibility, Rufus, a pastor, decides to reveal that he is gay and has been having an affair with a deacon named Chuck.

Chaos ensues and Sylvester decided to call his wife and flee to his home. Soon he learns that his wife has had a male visitor and rushes to bust her in the act of cheating.

As he is driving home, he is stopped for speeding by a smoking policeman named James. James issues him a ticket and he continues to his house.

Once he arrives, he finds that his wife, Gwendolyn, is in fact alone and the two inexplicably start having sex. During their tryst, which contains lyrics like “Hold on I caught a cramp!”, Sylvester discovers a condom in the bed and it is revealed that Gwendolyn has been having an affair with none other than Officer James.

In another completely ridiculous turn of events, James returns to Gwen and Sylvester’s house and the two men begin to fight over a gun. In the midst of the fight, the gun goes off and someone gets shot in the climax of the last cliffhanger episode.

In the next episode, we learn that the shot hit Twan, Gwen’s brother who just got out of prison. Twan, who was previously unconscious and coughing on the floor, is able to fix his gunshot wound with a couple bandages in the bathroom. Then, for no reason at all, someone knocks on the door and everyone freaks out and starts pointing a gun at the door as they answer it.

It turns out the knock was Rosie the Nosy Neighbor, who had a spatula in her hand (“Like that’s gon do somethin’ against them guns”). And, in another illogical turn of events, James just takes off and everyone is left at Sylvester’s house to laugh about the affairs, the shooting, and the potential murder of the neighbor.

James returns home to find his wife, Bridget, has been having an affair with a midget named Big Man who craps his pants in fear when James discovers him hiding in a cabinet in the kitchen. After a slight argument, Bridget reveals that she will soon have Big Man’s child. Through out this entire segment, Big Man is referred to primarily as “the midget” and Kelly emulates Bridget’s voice using an absurd southern accent.

This new run takes place immediately after all these events and even includes chapter 12.5, a recap of the “season” so far with a chorus of “Aw shit!”

I just want to take this time to remind everyone that I did not make this stuff up. This is the actual story that has caused people to label R. Kelly a genius. Seriously.

What has always amazed me about Trapped is the fact that R. Kelly can release this with a straight face. This is an “opera” that appeals to the lowest common denominator, while claiming to be a unique and artistic expression of urban life. Most shocking is how much it has been embraced by the very community that it stereotypes. The whole thing seems more fitting of a sketch on Chappelle’s Show than a legitimate art form that deserves to be taken seriously. For that reason, it’s ideal for Trashwire, a significant artifact of true pop culture trash. Even the true geniuses at South Park have made fun of R. Kelly’s trashy epic.

New episodes will be added every day to the Trapped in the Closet section on IFC.com and chapters 13-22 will be released on DVD August 21st..

Trashwire will be adding recaps and commentary for most episodes on our blog.

Alexis Gentry

Alexis Gentry is the creator and editor of Trashwire.com. She has been called a “dynamic, talented and unique voice in pop culture” by Ben Lyons of E! and, with her strong fascination with entertainment and penchant for writing, it’s not hard to see why.

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