Remember when Dave Chappelle did his "(I Wanna) Pee On You" skit? The one that provided us all with huge laughs at the expense of R. Kelly, after the singer was accused of peeing on, and having sex with, an underage girl? "Pee On You" was one of Chappelle's most memorable and brilliant moments, but these days, R. Kelly doesn't need comedians impersonating him to make us laugh -- he's probably the most hilarious guy in music. The truly perplexing thing about this, though, is that it's not clear whether he's being so funny on purpose or not.
It was with Trapped In The Closet -- one of the most bizarre, nonsensical and semi-psychotic pieces of work ever set to music -- that Kelly went from being a bit of a melodramatic weirdo to a comedian. It is impossible to forget the confusion, the awe and the unabashed amusement you feel the very first time you bear witness to this insane piece of filmmaking. Is this, or is this not, one of the craziest fucking things you've ever seen?
Uh-huh. Amazing, right? But it was unclear whether our man was being this hilarious on purpose, or if this "hip-hopera" (his words, not ours) was actually a serious prospect for him (it seemed to be, but it feels impossible to believe that anyone could make this thing with a straight face). Two years after the first amazing twelve chapters, he released an additional ten, which were also completely absurd -- and hilarious -- on seemingly every level.
The entire Trapped In The Closet series makes us feel like we're taking crazy pills, because we just cannot figure out if it's meant to be a joke or not. Even outside of that, our brains ache from the lack of songwriting involved with this thing -- these aren't songs, they're collections of confusing dialogue thrown together over the same backing track we've been listening to for literally years now. How have his fans (and we're referring to the actual fans, not the thousands of people who enjoy this thing ironically) not been bothered by that? R. Kelly is either a genius or a deluded lunatic with too many yes-men around him -- and it is persistently impossible to tell which it is. We put it to you, Mr. Kelly -- to borrow a phrase from Chapter 13 -- that perhaps it is in fact you who is "crazier than a fish with titties":
Then, just when we'd come to the conclusion that Trapped In The Closet was a special, one-off moment of twisted comedic lunacy and that Kelly would get back to making non-insane music again at some point, he went and released Untitled in 2009. The album that closed with the track "Pregnant," which is one part huge offense to womankind (and actually, modern society on the whole, if we think about it), and one part the funniest thing you'll ever hear (other than, perhaps, Trapped In The Closet ). It's so much like an SNL skit, we can hardly believe it's real -- and he had three collaborators on it! What were they all thinking?
you compare me to someone else? O.M.G. No offense to the other
artists, but come on darlin', let's be honest: how many babies been
made off me? O.M.G."