How To Top A Masterpiece
The best thing I've ever read about the enigma of R. Kelly was in the Onion's review of his newest album, "Double Up." Somewhere in their paragraph review, they write, and I'm paraphrasing, that his career has always been marked by lunatic ambition and ambitious lunacy.
I had a conversation about this with my friend James who told me a theory he’s long been harboring, and that is that R. Kelly records everything. He walks around with a secret tape recorder, documenting every human interaction he has during the course of his day I think it's an interesting theory, and can defiantly explain how and why he comes up with such a plethora of the type of shit he come sup with a plethora of. But I think there's a bit more to it, I don't think he records everything through the course of his day and then chooses to write a song about it, I think R. Kelly decided sometime within the last five or six years to carry out any and every artistic impulse he's ever had to fruition.
I think it explains a lot. An average person would have run out of metaphors for sexual single entendres about three albums ago, but not our boy Kells. He's got to sit back and think, "what else is there to compare sex to? " Oh, a zoo? Outer space? Why not. And as the result, we get blessed with "Space Planet," which is about you know, sex being a lot like space travel. Here's a sample:
We’ll stick a flag on the Moon
First couple to ever make love on planet Neptune(uuhh)
And if time allow us
We’ll be gone for hours
I won’t stop until i give you meteor showers
Oh and when he rhymes painless with Uranus, it's real hard to figure out what he's getting at.
Anyway, I'm getting of course here. I'm a huge R. Kelly fan and I'm sure there will be numerous future posts defending and celebrating the man and his work. But it's time to get to the matter at hand. August 21 marks the release of Trapped in the Closet parts 13-22. I've heard the budget for the whole thing was around five million, which is mind-blowing. The money certainly isn't all on (green) screen. But I digress.
I've wondered often where the story will go from chapter 12. I've hoped a trip to Carol's pub or back to the closed down Paje club or to Estelle's or the Empty Bottle. The only reason why I'm sure those things won't happen is because they aren't ridiculous enough. So how do you top the first 12 chapters? The answer lies in the preview. Not in what the preview reveals of future episodes. No, no no. The answer is the preview. The preview itself tops the first 12 chapters in both ambitious lunacy and lunatic ambition.
Instead of a normal preview, you know, like one that tells you shit that's gonna happen, Kells chooses to summarize all twelve previous chapters. The summary--sung to the tune of the same fucking beat from all twelve previous chapters--breaks down each chapter in about 7 to 15 seconds, depending on the episodes difficulty. It's basically Cliff Notes to R. Kelly's Trapped In the Closet.
But singing it isn't enough for him, he has to show it to. So while he sings what happens in each chapter, you see a few scenes from said chapter. But it doesn't stop there. Wearing a white suite, he super imposes himself into scene sings the summary, and when a particularly mind-blowing event occurs, he let's us know by saying, "oh shit." Just see it to believe it.