By Amy Ryan
Updated October 21, 2005 at 12:00 PM EDT
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R. Kelly

Are we missing something here?

R. Kelly has three more chapters of his never-ending saga ”Trapped in the Closet” out on video (a synopsis is here), prompting MTV to ask whether Kelly’s pansexual soap opera is actually a work of misunderstood genius. We’d have thought the true brilliance of the work was in demonstrating that you can turn the repetition of any word, no matter how mundane, into a boffo chorus. (For example, Kelly inspired my PopWatch colleague Michael Slezak to compose this surefire hit lyric.)

But MTV’s assembled experts and tastemakers suggest that Kelly’s opus really is a landmark achievement. ”The song is genius,” says Jermaine Dupri. ”It could be the epic of our time,” says Beck. Such pronouncements don’t really tell us much about the song, though they may tell us more than we wanted to know about Dupri and Beck.

Folks, just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s operating above your level.

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