Rico Suave vs. Mr Loverman: Battle of the Tiny Todgers

For this One On One I want to explore two videos that might be said to be plumbing the depths of both misogyny and actually quite hilarious sexual braggadocio. Having watched them back-to-back (yes, I did really did that!) I realised that Gerardo and Shabba Ranks have much in common: they’re both one-hit wonders who’s one hit was basically a personal sexual manifesto; they’re both from countries outside the pop mainstream (Gerardo is Ecuadorian, Ranks is from Jamaica); and they both in all probability (and based on the wholly scientific, completely provable ‘Brag-Horn Principle’ which states that the level of sexual hubris displayed by any man is in direct inverse proportion to the size of their genitalia) have very small dicks.

But who has the tiniest todger of all? Who’s hot-dog sausage would struggle to fill the roll? Who’s sexual ego, massive enough that they had to make both a record and a video devoted to it, conceals not a tree trunk but merely a little acorn? There’s only one way to find out…

Gerardo – Rico Suave

A massive hit in the USA in 1991 for this Latino singer, dancer and actor (he played the character Bird in the excellent 1987 gang movie Colors), Rico Suave was often assumed to be the name of the singer but is in fact Latino slang for a smooth ladies man, such as the one Gerardo clearly sees himself to be. The song samples James Brown’s ‘Give It Up Or Turn It Loose’ and sounds very of it’s time (meaning it hasn’t aged particularly well). Anyway, let’s break the song and video down, and assess it by means of clearly quantifiable criteria, such as…

Biggest Lyrical Boast: The bilingual lyrics contain many a self-congratulatory epithet, but “There’s not a woman who can handle a man like me, that’s why I juggle two or three” is probably the line that steals it. 7/10

Flesh Count: As you would expect there are dancing girls appearing throughout, however they seem to be reasonably well-dressed most of the time, and in fact by far the most flesh displayed comes from the man himself and his immaculately chiselled torso, one which you can imagine he has spent many hours admiring in front of a mirror. 6/10

Most Cringe-worthy Moment: Every “Rico” or “Suave” seems to induce a rather embarrassing hand-gesture from Gerardo, however the “Rico” at 3.24 which sees him run his hand up and down an outstretched female thigh had me cringing and laughing all at once. 8/10

Misogynistic Low-point: At 2.37 we reach the point in both song and video where Gerardo arrives to pick up his (very, very white) date. As he’s introducing himself to the parents he sings “Go and serve the food mom” before sending her on the way to the kitchen with a slap on the ass. All the while the date/daughter sits ogling him like he’s the pinnacle of manliness, maybe looking forward to a time when it’ll be her arse he slaps when he wants a sandwich. What a guy… 9/10

The Simply Inexplicable: The ludicrously fake Mariachi band in the background appear to serve no other purpose than supposedly adding to Gerardo’s Latin credentials. The moment at 2.13 where one of them decides to join in the dancing action is the moment where you go “what the fuck is that guy doing in this video??”. I have not a single clue. 8/10

Overall score: 38/50

Penis estimate: A small chipolata.

Shabba Ranks – Mr Loverman

This was a worldwide hit for Ranks in 1992 and turned out to be his signature song, featuring the memorable cry of “Shabba!” (supplied by Reggae legend Maxi Priest) with which he is indelibly associated. It actually began life as a song by Jamaican singer Deborahe Glasgow called “Champion Lover” before Ranks co-opted both the song and the singer in to his own version which was first released in 1988 as an album track with this re-worked version emerging as a single later, with a new female vocal, and represents the commercial arse-end of the Jamaican Dancehall style from which Ranks emerged. So what’s going on here, let’s take a look…

Biggest Lyrical Boast: “They call me Mr Loverman” is in itself quite a boast, however the line “A woman take a trip, she’s coming from England, to satisfy her soul you know she wants a man…” which seems to suggest the ladies are willing to fly around the world to be loved by Ranks is quite a claim. And quite obviously a load of crap too. 8/10

Flesh Count: Yep, there’s plenty of female flesh on display as scantily clad woman pop up everywhere, at one point even lining up to splash their feet in the sea (don’t ask me…). However, it’s worth noting that never once does Ranks appear in the same shots as any of them even those that feature other guys hanging with them, which when you think about it is actually quite odd. As for Ranks himself, there is but one bare-chested shot at 3.36 where he appears to be simultaneously dancing and stroking his own nipple. Nice. 8/10

Most Cringe-worthy Moment: Maybe the aforementioned nipple stroking bit, although after consideration I’ve realised that the whole video is one long cringe-worthy moment… 8/10

Misogynistic Low-Point: Predating the current trend by some 20-odd years the video gives plenty of exposure to the very exposed female dancers with the bit where they all line up to dance around on a giant chess board maybe being the nadir. However, this video does lack anything like Gerardo’s ‘arse-slapping-go-and-fix-me-some-grub’ moment, which redeems it ever so slightly. 7/10

The Simply Inexplicable: A couple of moments qualify here. Firstly, the guy at 2.02 using a machete to slice open a fruit of some variety before pouring the inner juice over his head is pretty random, as is Ranks’ use of a mobile phone the size of Luxembourg later on. However, fruit it is as for reasons beyond any rational analysis shots of oranges and other assorted citruses appear regularly to no obvious effect whatsoever. 8/10

Overall Score: 39/50

Penis estimate: The size of a midget’s digit methinks.

So there you have it, Ranks is the winner by a point. This man’s sexual hyperbole is clearly an attempt to mask a trouser package so small that one can only imagine his main use for fruit is the bananas he sticks down his underpants in order to hide his embarrassing man-package. That’s not to say Gerardo isn’t far behind, and may well be used to shoving a rolled up pair of socks down there himself. Ranks edges it though and will receive from MVD via the post a gold-plated statuette of a shrivelled, over-cooked hot-dog sausage and a pair of peanuts by way of an award…

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5 thoughts on “Rico Suave vs. Mr Loverman: Battle of the Tiny Todgers

  1. Hm. I find myself in disagreement with you for the first time. Which is not a bad thing, It shows I’m paying attention and you are doing your job creating – good discussion 😉
    There is no doubt that Mr. Suave was a one hit wonder but Shabba? He has had several tunes chart on the Billboard lists and depending on which list you look at the number ranges from 3-4 songs as well as 3-4 albums. Mr. Lover man may have been the biggest global hit – but in the Caribbean, during carnival, Clubs on both coasts in America a bit in Central America and a few clubs in the UK – Ting A Ling, Wicked inna Bed (decried as anti gay), Twice my age, telephone love etc was played in heavy rotation. Sometimes just the beginning portions of the music were heard to get the masses to the dance floor. The beats were infectious. and incredibly fun. I guess as a World Wide fav he may not have had the numbers – but he was one of those acts that if you knew his music and you liked it – you looked for it and celebrated it…repeatedly – Sometimes with great pride that you were one of those few who could appreciate it, that its goodness was derived by its LACK of commercial appeal. I have heard those who like his music decry Mr. Loverman as a “sellout” song and this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3uht6kXaLw being one where he was real and (gasp) spiritual. This song is a far departure from Mr. Loverman and takes place six years later, perhaps during a moment of revelation? Perhaps after years with record executives? (All the references to Satan) Or maybe his swan song as he walked away from the lime light…who knows? Still being featured in Hip hop – “Clear the Air” in 2007 and was the FIRST Dancehall artist to win a Grammy award. I do consider Shabba Ranks to be far more than a one hit wonder and was IMO the most influential dancehall artist during that time period AND was a pioneer during the post Marley heyday …Good Stuff!!

    1. Oh I know there’s much more to Ranks than ‘Mr Loverman’ but quite honestly, if you went and asked most people what they know of him I guarantee that one song is it. People may have unwittingly heard stuff of his in clubs and other places over the years but nothing else he did was a bonafide pop hit in the same way and that’s the angle I came at it from, that in the eyes of the average pop music fan (if such a thing exists!) he’s known for that one song. Of course, i completely accept your point of view, and would add that there may well be a Gerardo fan out there somewhere (if such a thing exists!) that would make the same argument, hahaha. I’m happy to generate such a discussion, and thanks once again for your comments, always appreciated! 🙂

      1. OK – Let’s agree that he is not a successful “Pop” artist but most certainly not a one hit wonder. 😉

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