" 'Trapped in the Closet' was designed to go around the world sort of like the Ghost of Christmas Past — house to house, this situation to that situation, sometimes exposing people in their regular lives," R. Kelly said Monday from the set of his new mini-movie, "Trapped in the Closet (Chapters 6-10)." "Anybody's closet I can pop up in and see what they're going through and tell the world what's going on in their lives. But I don't come unless there's drama."
Kelly and his drama have undoubtedly been the most interesting things happening in the very stale world of R&B lately. With no competition to give him a run for his money, strong word of mouth from "Trapped" and one of music's strongest built-in fanbases, Kells easily sold enough copies of his new TP.3 Reloaded to top next week's Billboard albums chart (see "R. Kelly Steps Out Of The 'Closet,' Into Billboard's #1"), despite hardly speaking to the press at all in advance of the album's release.
"I'm very real with my music," Kelly said of his success. "I don't hold back. I sing about real-life experiences all the time. There are a lot of people who wanna hear what I go through. But what I go through, they go through."
Although the R. has proven he can make records about practically any subject, he admitted that he was surprised at how he came up with "Trapped."
" 'Trapped in the Closet' was like a sucker punch," he said with a smile. "It came out of nowhere. I didn't go in the studio and say, 'Hey, I'm finnin' to write a musical opera.' I know people think that's how I wrote it, but nah. I did what I always do: what the music tells me to. I got towards the end of [recording] TP.3 Reloaded, I pulled up this particular track and it felt like drama! Suspense! And all those things. It kind of felt like a book. The music felt like a novel" (see "R. Kelly Shoots More Chapters For 'Trapped In The Closet' Saga").
Kelly said that when he began writing, the story took on a life of its own. He finished the first chapter and his inner circle kept asking what was going to happen next. He too wondered where the story would go and kept writing, coming up with chapters two, three, four and five. The R. and his fans have refused to let go of this humorous, crazy, gripping story about Kelly's narrator character and his wife; the gay lovers Rufus and Chuck; Rufus' wife, Kathy; and a police officer.
"I surprised myself," Kells said. "I must admit that doing 'Trapped,' I did not know my writing skills could go to such a depth — then high, then sideways. My mother used to tell me, 'Boy, your elevator goes sideways.' I'm starting to believe her."