“Trapped in the Closet” is a series of songs by American R&B singer R. Kelly. The song set currently consists of 33 whole chapters, which were released from 2005 to 2012. The music and the lyrics follow a distinct E major pattern. The first five chapters of the set are included on his seventh studio album TP.3 Reloaded, with the first chapter being released as the first single from the album. Written and produced by Kelly, the series tells a story of a one-night stand that sets off a chain of events, which gradually reveals a greater web of lies, sex, and deceit. Musically, all chapters of the song feature the same melodic theme with varying lyrics, relating an ongoing narrative.
Each chapter has its own accompanying music video, which follows the storyline of the song. All the videos follow one another in terms of continuity. Videos for chapters one to five were released, individually, in sequence, from May and June 2005. Following a preview of the twelfth chapter at 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, in November 2005, seven more chapters were released exclusively on DVD, which also contained videos for the first five chapters, making a total of twelve chapters. Nearly two years later, in August 2007, ten more chapters were released to DVD. Kelly has stated that there is a possibility of more chapters being written and released.
The series of songs, described by Kelly as a hip hopera, was the subject of much media coverage at the time of its release. The series’ popularity has led to parodies of it in other media, including being referenced in the title of a controversial South Park episode of the same name, which also featured an animated depiction of Kelly. “Weird Al” Yankovic also recorded a parody of the song entitled “Trapped in the Drive-Thru“.
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