Clearly, I’m in the wrong business. What I should be doing is writing a relationship book, because all the criteria that you need for that these days is having been in a relationship at any point in your life.
In the case of singer/songwriter Musiq’s new book “143: Love According to Musiq” maybe an added asset is that you’ve written a few love songs. You’d think that R&B singers should be the most sensitive and understanding of men giving the beautiful songs they write, but any familiarity with the romantic history of most R&B singers would help you see that’s not the case.
Someone must have thought “Hey, let’s get Musiq to do a book” given that he’s best known for ballads like “Love,” “Don’t Change,” “143” and other romantic hits. “143,” by the way, stands for the letters that correspond to those numbers on a telephone keypad and is an abbreviation for “I love you.” (If you’re a Musiq fan, you’d know that.)
The book is divided into the sections that you would expect – Love, Money, Sex, Kids and a few you don’t – Redemption, Insecurities and “The Type.”
The book covers the all-important aspect of self-love as part of the way to enjoy a successful relationship and that might be the most important piece of information in it. The rest is a mostly predictable hodgepodge of relationship advice you’ve heard before.
These kinds of books are almost always geared toward women – who make up most of Musiq’s most faithful audience. The reason why relationship books are geared toward women is because a man would never buy one. Books like “143” make it seem that it’s always the woman who has to make the adjustments and changes needed in a relationship and are almost always written by men as “insight” into the male mind.
What they don’t ever take into account is that a relationship is not just one-sided. Musiq attempts to make the book inclusive, adding some tips for men as well. But it still focuses mainly on women and what they can do to “get” and “keep” a man.
As a writer, Musiq is just OK – he modernizes his advice by sharing examples via fictional text messages. For a very young audience, there may be some benefit to the book, but anyone who’s grown and been through their share of relationships likely won’t need it.
There’s very little in it that hasn’t already been said and a good portion of it is pure common sense. If you’re wondering why all of these basically unqualified relationship “counselors” are writing these books, it’s because of the money they stand to gain from catering to lonely women. If you’re really looking for a relationship, you’d be better off cooking up a good meal for someone you like and using some of Musiq’s songs as your dinner soundtrack. Just sayin.’