Cali Swag District speaks on the death of M-Bone
The local hip-hop world was rocked this week by the slaying of Montae "M-Bone" Talbert, 22, a member of the Cali Swag District, the group behind the national dance craze "the Dougie."
Since his shooting Sunday night in the 400 block of North La Brea Boulevard in Inglewood, police have interviewed multiple witnesses in an attempt to piece together the details of the shooting. Thus far, no arrests have been made.
TMZ has reported that the shooting potentially stemmed from a conflict over a woman, but law-enforcement officials have yet to divulge a possible motive for the drive-by shooting. In a recent interview with the gossip site, the members of Cali Swag District stressed that it was not gang related.
"It had nothing to do with gang violence. It wasn't nothing like that. It was just a 'wrong place at the wrong time' situation. We just gotta stay strong for the homey," Corey "Smoove" Fowler said in a video posted on TMZ. "We don't know who's responsible for it or what the case may be. It's just bad, man. We're just gonna leave it up to the law right now because there's really nothing we can do."
Members of Cali Swag District, raised in Inglewood, spoke on the culture of violence within their hometown in a January interview with the Los Angeles Times.
"We were never in gangs, but you can't not know the gang members when you grow up in Inglewood. We grew up around them, and everyone starts young," said Chante "Yung" Clee. "You go to parties, people punch people, and then things get more serious. We ran with them sometimes, but we never joined. It never made sense. Slowly, but surely, people go to jail or get killed. It gets out of hand."
According to data collected by The Times’ interactive Homicide Report, 69 homicides have been reported within 2 miles of Sunday's shooting since January 2007.
"During the '90s, you could drive down the street and see people flying rags. You could tell a gang member from a random person," Yung said in January. "Now, you’ll see gang members in skinny jeans. You can get shot by a dude on a skateboard in Vans with skinny jeans and a string for a belt."
Though a full narrative has yet to emerge about Sunday night's events, Smoove told TMZ that they had just came home from tour the day beforehand. Prior to Talbert's fateful trip to the liquor store, they had been celebrating a friend's birthday.
"He went to the store to get something to drink, and randomly, somebody pulls up, don't say no words, don't shoot a lot of shots, just did what they had to do and got on. It had to be something, but we really can't tell exactly what it was," Smoove told TMZ.
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: A fan signs a bereavement card on May 17, 2011, outside the liquor store at the site where rapper M-Bone from the group Cali Swag District was recently killed. Credit: Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images