He lives with his mother and father, but Gerardo Mejia, 25, is no ordinary homeboy. His first single, ”Rico Suave” (translation: ”Rich Smooth”), a rap in English and Spanish, is rapidly climbing the pop charts — thanks in part to the video version. On it, the ever-shirtless, smooth-stepping Gerardo delivers such lyrics as, ”There’s not a woman that can handle/A man like me/That’s why I juggle two or three.” Uh, really, Mr. Mejia? ”The video is a parody of Latin males,” he explains. ”I don’t take myself that seriously.” Born in Ecuador and raised in L.A., this accountant’s son won dance contests on TV’s Solid Gold and Dance Fever as a teen and by 1988 had the role of Latin heavy in Dennis Hopper’s Colors. ”I used movies to get where I am,” he says, emphasizing that now he has taken charge of his career. ”People wanted to change me — one guy wanted to call me MC Love,” he recalls. Even with a hit, though, there’s still some confusion about who Gerardo is. ”Everyone thinks my name is Rico.”
Posted March 15 1991 — 12:00 AM EST
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