The opus that is R. Kelly’s ‘Trapped in the Closet’ gets new life thanks to social media

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If you haven’t seen R. Kelly’s sprawling, insanely melodramatic YouTube masterpiece “Trapped in the Closet,” you’ll want to hit play, sit back, and experience a sampling of one of the best things to happen to music videos your life. 

Welcome back. Whether that was your first viewing or not, you’ve been captivated by the masterpiece – and now you can recapture some of the insanity using “Trapped in the Soundboard,” – a digital accompaniment to the wacky R&B opus. 

Trapped in the Soundboard trades on your desire to hear hilarious snippets from the song series by prompting fans to accomplish a series of social media tasks. For instance, to access the soundboard, you are supposed to log in through an app RCA Records designed to promote the soundboard. This gives you access to verses from Randolph, Sylvester, and Rosie, three of the series’ characters. Sylvester is the protagonist, played by R. Kelly, and his snippet gives you a pretty good idea of the song’s tone: “Not only is there a man in this cabinet/ but the man is a midget.” Naturally.

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You can gain access to more characters by doing a few different things: You get two extra characters for Liking R. Kelly on Facebook, and another two for following him on Twitter. You get three extra characters for going to the iTunes store, a not-so-subtle hint that this is some ingenious promotional material meant to make you buy the two latest installments in the series, chapters 22 and 23. 

You get a whopping eight extra sounds if you share the soundboard on Facebook and Twitter, and even though all of your followers and friends will think you’ve gone way overboard if you manage to collect all 20 sounds, you can let Kelly’s dulcet tones soothe your irritated buddies.  

Major props to RCA for creating this gamified, social networking way to revisit “Trapped in the Closet.” And thank you.