Five reasons to be excited for R. Kelly's next 'rap opera'

Good news everybody: R. Kelly is returning with new chapters of Trapped in the Closet. The U.S. based IFC channel announced that new installments of the self-professed rap opera will be released this year. And, if R. Kelly's statements to TMZ have any truth to it, there will be 32 vignettes to enjoy in 2012.

1. In his official statement, R. Kelly called the project an "alien" and said it was "not of this earth."

The song and accompanying videos are so ridiculous that when the rapper introduced the concept of a (originally) 16-minute, multiple part song to his record label, Jive, they didn't know what to do with it, according to producer Ann Carli.

Now, it's a unique viral success that has captivated audiences since 2005. Such is the brilliance of R. Kelly.

2. Despite the fact that all the chapters feature the same beats and melody, the story never gets boring. The soap opera-esque plot twists and turns so much that you'll need notes to keep up with who's who. But, don't worry, he often recaps the action every few installments or so.

3. If you manage to get your hands on a copy of the DVD, you can watch R. Kelly sitting on a plush chair while smoking a cigar and watching Trapped in the Closet on a screen. It's the "Inception" of DVD commentaries – and totally worth watching just to see R. Kelly's insane thought process behind creating the videos. Also, you'll find out that, according to R. Kelly, dresser rhymes with Beretta.

4. The videos have such a big cultural influence that they've been performed live by multiple U.S. theatre groups, were performed live by R. Kelly at the 2008 MTV Music Video Awards and been spoofed by South Park.

According to HitFix, it's "morphed into one of the strangest items in pop culture history."

5. The first 22 chapters revolved around a one-night stand, a cheating woman, a whole lot of bad wigs, a mysterious "package" that may or may not be alluding to an STD, a gay pastor, a spatula, and Bridget… who's hooking up with a midget. Yep, you read that right.

More on