A rap opera, hip hopera or hip opera is a series of hip hop songs in the form of an opera, inspired by the concept of rock opera. Examples of a hip hopera include Trapped in the Closet by R. Kelly, A Prince Among Thieves by Prince Paul, Refletchons by Fletch, Sick Passenger by Schäffer the Darklord, Introducing Neals by YTCracker and Deltron 3030.
When R&B singer R. Kelly was asked from IFC how he defined his Trapped in the Closet series, Kelly stated that he described it as a hip hopera or musical opera, and that it was now too long to be called a song. In 2001, MTV debuted a telefilm titled Carmen: A Hip Hopera, directed by Robert Townsend and starring Beyoncé Knowles and Mekhi Phifer. Volume 10 also released an album called Hip-Hopera in 1994. The former is contemporary R&B, not hip hop music, as is Trapped in the Closet.