Comedian Rico Lovelace appropriately calls himself ‘The Next Little Big Thang’. The 5’5 comedian may be small in stature but brings a big burst of energy to the stage during his performances.
At 35 years of age, life is on the upswing in comparison to his difficult upbringing. Lovelace was raised in Louisville’s Village West housing projects and by the age of 14, his mother was battling a crack cocaine addiction and his father was in prison. Like many Black males growing up in these conditions, Lovelace was on a collision course with prison or death.
Tragedy struck in a major way for Lovelace at 16 years-old. He was helping a friend who was involved in a fist-fight which ultimately resulted in a man losing his life. Lovelace was charged with manslaughter and sentenced to 24 months in a Juvenile Correctional Facility.
“It was something that took a hard toll on my life as a kid growing up because I didn’t know about God at that age.” – Rico Lovelace
During his two-year incarceration period his conscience began to weigh heavily on him.
“I went through counseling when I was locked up in the Central Youth Development Center because I would wake up in cold sweats.” – Rico Lovelace
He confesses that letters of encouragement from his father were a key factor in helping him cope with these extreme circumstances at such a young age. Despite this incident occurring nearly 20 years ago, Lovelace admits that participating in a man’s death still haunts him to this day.
Fast Forward to 2015, and all the experiences of a once painful life are expressed through his microphone. Like many comedians, Lovelace uses himself as the ‘butt’ of several jokes he tells. Respectfully he doesn’t use his manslaughter conviction in any of his jokes, but the rest of his life is fair game.
Lovelace has been a professional comedian for the past three years but his start was somewhat unconventional.
“I reached out to all my friends on Facebook who told me that I was funny…People always told me I was funny but I never put any effort into trying comedy.” – Rico Lovelace
After receiving the approval from his friends on social media, he attended an ‘Open-Mic’ night at the Comedy Caravan and wowed the crowd. Following that performance he began attending any and all ‘Open-Mic’ sessions that were available in Louisville which resulted in the signing of a partnership deal with Streatway Entertainment.
Throughout his comedy career, Lovelace has performed for crowds in Louisville, Atlanta, Nashville, Cincinnati, Clarksville TN, and Huntsville, AL. Comedy became surreal to him when he opened a show for Reginald Ballard (‘Bruh Man’ from the Martin show) which led to a career changing conversation between the two.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download
“When I first started doing comedy, my comedy name was ‘Freakric Lovelace’…Bruh Man told me I’d never be able to get into corporate America with that name, so I decided to start going by my regular name.” – Rico Lovelace
As he strives to reach the top of the comedy world, a sense a family is the one thing that keeps him grounded. Lovelace says his mother has been clean from drugs for 11 years and his father no longer drinks alcohol.
His parent’s lifestyle changes have allowed the family to heal and move forward with their lives. “My parents were at my first show and I was a little emotional”, said Lovelace. He says he has totally forgiven his parents for their misdeeds of the past and only focuses on the future.
“Why complain about what we don’t have in life?…There are people out there that have it much worse.” – Rico Lovelace
Charitable events have become a routine part of Lovelace’s repertoire as well. On Sunday May 24, 2015, he hosted a “Night of Comedy” at the Barasti Bar & Grill in Louisville to help raise funds for the 10th Street Cardinals Boys Football Team. Lovelace was contacted by coach Joe Thomas of the Cardinals and asked if he would donate a few hours of his time for a worthy cause.
Not only did Lovelace host the event for free, he enlisted Streatway Entertainment comic’s “Dino the Comedian”, Justin Tabb, Chris Cognac, and B-Boy, to perform for free as well.
In addition to the comedic acts, poetry and spoken word were performed by Lovelace’s wife, Verlissa Lovelace, who performs under the stage name “God’s Beautiful Creation”.