Music Article

'Trapped in the Closet' returns

R. Kelly's hip-hopera is back and crazier than ever

R. Kelly's epic ''hip-hopera'' Trapped in the Closet — which is back with 10 new chapters — is neither song nor movie. According to Trapped producer Ann Carli, the R&B singer ''likes to say it's kind of a little alien.'' EW asked Carli for some details about the latest from Kelly's wacky extraterrestrial being, which debuts Aug. 13 on IFC.com (and Aug. 21 on DVD).

Voice-Activated
Chapters 13-2 explore the life of Trapped protagonist Sylvester (Kelly), who becomes embroiled with gangsters. One of the many other roles Kelly plays is Reverend Mosley, a preacher who leads a choir number for which Kelly provided all the vocals. (Two real choirs play the onscreen ensemble.) Reports Carli, ''He recorded himself over 50 times for the full choir sound.''

Age of Love
Nosy old lady neighbor Rosie is back — and Kelly plays her crotchety husband, Randolph. ''He's got a bit of a drinking problem,'' says Carli. ''Randolph and Rosie [are] like if Lucy and Ricky got old. They're awesome.''

To Be Continued... Indefinitely
Kelly's already working on chapter 23 — but just how long can he stay in this Closet? ''We were joking the other day about it,'' Carli says. ''He said, 'Until the alien decides to go home.'''

Originally posted Aug 03, 2007 Published in issue #947 Aug 10, 2007 Order article reprints