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Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #22 R. Kelly “Trapped in the Closet”

Posted by Nathan S. on 11/20/09 | Filed under Features, R. Kelly, Best of the 2000s
Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s
With the number 22 pick of our "Top 25 of the 2000s" countdown, and are proud to select..."R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet"!

With all due respect to Usher (more on him later in our countdown), R. Kelly was the biggest male R&B star of the decade. Kelly put out a full four album in the 2000s with combined sales of over 10 million. Shockingly he's also won two NAACP Image Awards (in 2000 and 2001). How badly do you think the NAACP regrets those? Anyway, "Trapped in the Closet" was Kelly's most ambitious work to date, a hip-hop soap opera that spanned more than 20 chapters by the time it was said and done, with the first five chapters appearing on his number one album "TP.3 Reloaded". Without further ado...

First, we're not hear to judge artist's personal lives (no matter how controversial) so it'd be a travesty to leave R. Kelly off this list. Settled? Good. Second, it was no easy task to pick just one Kells track. Besides the approximately four billion tracks he appeared on as a guest artist, the man had no shortage of solo hits, including "I'm a Flirt (Remix)", "Step in the Name of Love" and my personal favorite, "Sex in the Kitchen". So why did we ultimately go with "Trapped in a Closet", a track that didn't sell nearly as well as his other hits? Because no song epitomizes the insane creativity of Kelly, his unshakable willingness to do tracks no other artist could even dream of, let alone record, like "Trapped in the Closet".

In other words, decades from now if my grandchildren ask me to explain who R. Kelly was, I'm showing "Trapped in the Closet" to them (on my hologram tv) and watching their jaws drop. In summary, not only did Kelly write a song that includes a gay lover storyline and midgets, he routinely sings in the third person and narrates his inner-thoughts: "Shit think, shit think, quick put me in the closet." Classic. What's more, after hearing it you'll inevitably find yourself humming the track an hour later. It's damn catchy, which is also a hallmark of R. Kelly's work. If this was a "Craziest songs of the 2000s" list "Trapped in the Closet" would be number one, but in terms of the best tracks of the decade it's coming in at number 22.

For a list of complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.

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