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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.


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