#BlackLoveBooks Challenge Day 3: Relationship Goals: a couple with an ideal relationship
“Couple” and “love” do not always have to have romantic connotations. I chose the memoir Sing To Me: My Story of Making Music, Finding Magic, and Searching for Who’s Next by singer-songwriter-music-exec L.A. Reid, which I read as an audiobook. In it, Reid talks about his decades-long friendship and business partnership with the legendary Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. I think it’s beautiful that he talks about the ups and downs of his relationship with someone who is neither a family member, nor a former romantic partner. It’s not just a bromance.
I first learned about Babyface and LA Reid as members of The Deele and their song “Two Occasions.” I was entirely too young to understand the lyrics:
I only think of you on two occasions
That’s day and night
I’d go for broke if I could be with you
Only you can make it right…
I was just a child and had never been in love, but I still loved the song. Later, in my teens, I still hadn’t been in love, but continued to love the songs that were written and produced by the duo, or released on their record label LaFace Records. If you’re a lover of 90s R&B, most of your favorite love songs from that era were probably written by them. Helloooo, can you say Toni Braxton?
Reid’s influence extends far beyond Toni Braxton and the 90s. In this behind-the-scenes look at the music industry we also see Reid’s producing relationship with artists including Mariah Carey, Usher, OutKast, Pink, Rihanna, TLC, Justin Bieber, Whitney Houston and others.
Long term, non-familial relationships always fascinate me. You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, so I like to hear the stories behind how people become and stay friends, especially in the entertainment industry. You often hear about convenience-based relationships, so it’s refreshing to learn about the real ones. That’s not to say that Reid and Babyface didn’t have their issues, but even now the two remain friends and continue to have an impact on the music business by providing soundtracks to our lives.
This post is in correspondence with the Instagram #BlackLoveBooks Challenge by @booksandbrunchbookclub.