Rico Suave (song)

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"Rico Suave"
Rico Suave single.jpg
Single by Gerardo
from the album Mo' Ritmo
ReleasedDecember 1990
Producer(s)Michael Sembello
Gerardo singles chronology
"Rico Suave"
"We Want the Funk"

"Rico Suave" is a 1990 single by Ecuadorian rapper and singer Gerardo. It appeared on his 1991 album Mo' Ritmo. The track peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart of April 13, 1991, and reached number 2 on the Hot Rap Singles chart a week earlier. In the song, the narrator tells of his luck with women and his lady-loving lifestyle.

The song ranks number 100 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 90s" and number 9 on VH1's "100 Greatest One Hit Wonders". It also ranked at number 37 on Blender's list of the "50 Worst Songs Ever".[1]

The song contains samples of "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose" by James Brown and "Chamo Candela" by Venezuelan tropical/dance pop group Daiquiri.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

Maxi-CD single[edit]

  1. "Rico Suave" (Spanglish version) – 3:29
  2. "Rico Suave" (Mo' Ritmo dance version) – 7:15
  3. "Rico Suave" (all Spanish version) – 4:17

12" single[edit]

  1. "Rico Suave" (Spanglish version) – 4:09
  2. "Rico Suave" (The More English Edit) – 3:29
  3. "Rico Suave" (Mo' Ritmo dance version) – 7:15
  4. "Rico Suave" (Spanish version) – 4:17

Remix single[edit]

  1. "Rico Suave" – 4:09
  2. "Rico Suave" (Spanish version) – 4:17
  3. "Rico Suave" (Instrumental Energize Mix) – 4:09

Music video[edit]

The video for the single features Gerardo and several male back-up dancers. Gerardo wears an open leather jacket. The backup dancers wear white T-shirts under their oversized suit jackets.

The video's intro consists of the singer and two back-up dancers squatting in front of a skyscraper with their backs to the camera. Near the end of the video, Gerardo takes his jacket off.

The bilingual version of the video also details Gerardo's encounter with his date's parents, who appear less than thrilled with Gerardo.

The video was nominated for two MTV Video Music Awards for Best Male Video and Best New Artist.[citation needed]

Gerardo's real-life father played his girlfriend's father in the video.[citation needed]



"Weird Al" Yankovic recorded a parody entitled "Taco Grande" about a man who visits a Mexican restaurant, featuring Cheech Marin speaking rapid Spanish in the bridge. (Marin, who is not fluent in Spanish, needed help from a Spanish-speaking record company secretary to record his part.[citation needed]) It was released on his 1992 album Off the Deep End.

Saturday Night Live featured a skit showing "one-hit wonder" artists of the past. Among them was Gerardo (portrayed by Horatio Sanz) who addressed himself as "Rico Suave" as if it were his real name.

A Pinky and the Brain episode featured a plotline in which the Brain created a new alter-ego for Pinky, "Pinky Suavo" to hypnotize the world.

Sonic references the song in a promotional comic for the Sonic the Hedgehog game.[5] On an episode of Beavis and Butt-head in Spanish class, Butt-head used Rico Suave as a Spanish word.


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[6] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Blender.com Archived 2010-12-26 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Billboard.com - Artist Chart History - Gerardo
  3. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  4. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (December 21, 1991). "1991 The Year in Music & Video: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. 103 (51): YE-14.
  5. ^ "Sonic The Hedgeblog". Sonic The Hedgeblog. Retrieved 2020-09-06.
  6. ^ "American single certifications – Gerardo – Rico Suave". Recording Industry Association of America.