Rapper and R&B singer R. Kelly is getting hot again at 45 with “Trapped in the Closet,” which he calls a hip-hop opera. The show has been appearing on cable television an Kelly says he’s geared up to do a Broadway production in the near future.
The International Film Channel (IFC) has been airing the opera, which Kelly has written in chapters.
It’s been described as bizarre and a guilty pleasure with distinctive characters like Twan, Sylvester, Pimp Lucius and “the package.” In other words, it may be just the right formula for a rollicking Broadway musical. Kelly hinted he might star in the production himself.
“To transform it into a Broadway version, that’s what I’m working on,” he told a packed Sunshine Theater. Kelly was on hand to debut the latest chapters. The hip-hop opera has essentially evolved over time.
Songs from a 2005 album created such a stir Kelly started making a series of videos about it and come up with the idea of creating chapters, almost like a sit-com. “Somehow, I landed `Trapped in the Closet’ from being silly,” he said.
“I’m just having a lot of fun. I don’t have a job, so I sit in the studio all day and think of stuff to do and this is just something stupid I’ve done that’s been successful for me,” he said. “I’m having a lot of fun with it.”
“I Believe I Can Fly” his greatest hit won three Grammy awards in 1998. He was named the most successful R&B artist of the last 25 years by Billboard.
Kelly’s career hit a wall in 2002, when a video surfaces allegedly showing having sex with an underage woman that included peeing on her. After a protracted legal battle was found not guilty by a jury in 2008. He’s released three studio albums since then: Untitled (2009),
Love Letter (2010) and Write Me Back (2012).
Check out the first chapter of his series. He generally draws more than one million viewers for each chapter.