It’s not entirely clear how or when R. Kelly’s hip-hop opera “Trapped in the Closet” became a Zeitgeist. Part music video, part soap opera, it—while verging on self-parody throughout—has spawned parodies by everyone from South Park (which used it to make fun of Tom Cruise and John Travolta, among others) to Weird Al (who used it to make fun of fast food. Oh Weird Al!). What is clear is why it’s been embraced by seemingly everyone in the entire universe: it’s simultaneously the greatest and most confusing thing that any mainstream rap artist, nay, any musician, has ever done.
So, appropriately enough two days after it was announced that Kelly plans to add ten more chapters to the saga, tonight a “Trapped in the Closet tribute show” is going down at Smiling Buddha (931 College Street, at Dovercourt).
Doors open at 9:00 p.m., and, for once, it’s a party worth showing up ridiculously early to, with all twelve chapters of “Trapped in the Closet” being screened starting right at 9:20. (If you can’t make it, you can watch them all on Google Video.) After the screening, twelve extremely un-R. Kelly-esque bands, including Garbage! Violence! Enthusiasm! and Pants and Tie, will play covers and interpretations, one chapter for each band. The night will end, mercifully, with a screening of R. Kelly’s video commentary for the “Trapped in the Closet” DVD. Come.