If you weren’t at the Smiling Buddha Bar this past Thursday, you missed something pretty special. A nice guy named Jay organized an evening called I Believe I Can Rhyme. David Topping over at Torontoist wrote about it, and I showed up at the event expecting a simple screening of Trapped in the Closet. I somehow missed the fact that it was an R. Kelly tribute show.

So immediately after screening the first 12 chapters, 12 bands took the stage to each perform one of the chapters. Amazing.

And, with the August 21 release date for the new chapters inching closer, R. Kelly is getting lots of press, mostly around his deal with IFC. A sampling:

  • Billboard: __The new round of “Trapped” videos finds Kelly portraying an old man named Randolph, complete with a pot belly and a fake white beard that nearly falls off mid-scene, as well as a preacher in a gray Jheri-curl wig and garish orange suit. In one of the final chapters, Kelly’s Sylvester character talks business with a “Sopranos”-esque mobster who is eating a giant plate of spaghetti.
  • Pitchfork: Man, is that water droplet noise ever gonna get annoying around #15.
  • Torontoist: It’s not entirely clear how or when R. Kelly’s hip-hop opera “Trapped in the Closet” became a Zeitgeist.
  • Prefix: I guess “Trapped in the Closet” could be seen as independent film. It’s certainly independent from any cognitive reality.