Rico Suave – Gerardo | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#7); 1991

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Ecuador-born Gerardo enjoyed a brief moment in the spotlight based on his Latino good looks and his ability to rap in a combination of English and Spanish (“Spanglish”). Gerardo moved to Glendale, CA at age 12, and gained notoriety by winning two street dance contests in 1985. He parlayed his moves into movie roles, as Ricky in the geek-to-cool-guy film Can’t Buy Me Love, and gang leader Bird in Colors. Gerardo’s wordplay hit the airwaves via the infectious Rico Suave, drawn from his first album, Mo’ Ritmo, which translates as “more rhythm.” The smooth Rico strutted onto the Hot Rap Singles (#2), Hot Dance Music (#12), and Hot 100 Singles charts (#7). In the producer’s chair during the Rico recording sessions sat a man who introduced another, somewhat hotter individual to the film and music loving public, Michael “Maniac” Sembello. Gerardo made yet another career move to record label exec after his recording career cooled, helping to sign Enrique Iglesias and Bubba Sparxxx.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Michael Sembello

Lyrics Written by:

  • Christian Carlos Warren
  • Gerardo Mejia
  • Alberto Slezynger
  • Rosa Soy
  • Charles Bobbit