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R. Kelly Even More Awesome in Person

R. Kelly at last night’s premiere.Photo: Getty Images

Last night was the official theatrical premiere for chapters 13 to 22 of R. Kelly’s serialized, nonsensical musical masterpiece Trapped in the Closet at Manhattan’s IFC Center. The Pied Piper himself was there to introduce the new episodes, so we sent Vulture’s own Neal Medlyn and Kenny Mellman file a report.

Medlyn: So, we got there, stood in a line outside, ran into wonderful performance artist Michael Portnoy of SOY BOMB fame, waited, and then R. Kelly showed up!

I was too excited about him being there. I couldn’t wait to hear what he was going to say. What did he say, Kenny?

Mellman: Kellz comes down the aisle, and he’s all alone: no handlers, no PR people, no bodyguards. And I feel like he could be my friend and we could hang out at some place, and then he steps up to the mike and I’m sad because the distortion is terrible, but it doesn’t matter because Kellz is speaking. And what does he say? Well, he sings the Trapped in the Closet riff and then says “that music, that is the characters’ air. They breath that music.” And my mind explodes. Like in Scanners. And I know it is true: They do breathe this music. It’s a whole new language. They only exist when the music is playing.

I love R. Kelly even more now that I’ve seen him in person. And he gave it up for the president of Jive Records because “one should always give it up to the money.” True that! Keep giving Kellz money so this can go on forever. He said he’s produced 51 (!!!!!!) chapters so far and just needs the budget to film them. Give him the money.

Medlyn: I read in the Times once that he’s super-charismatic; he can just walk into a room and start playing the piano, and everyone laughs and gets starry-eyed and does whatever he says. I certainly felt that way last night. I would totally have given him a donation to finish Trapped if he’d asked. He’s a millionaire, and I still would’ve thrown him a twenty!

R. Kelly Even More Awesome in Person