Cali Swag District gets July 12 release date for 'The Kickback,' drops new mixtape
By any metric, it has been a tumultuous several months for Cali Swag District. Catapulting from Inglewood unknowns to Dougie dance deities in just a year, their good fortune seemed to vanish as quickly as it occurred.
The group was signed to Capitol Records, which helped propel their "Teach Me How to Dougie" single to multiplatinum status, but they suffered label shakeouts that led them to seek greener pastures. And, last month the group's dancer, Montae "M-Bone" Talbert, was shot and killed in a slaying that remains unsolved.
But in a sign that their worst trials may be behind them, the group has finalized plans for a July 12 release of the much-delayed full-length album "The Kickback" on the independent Sphinx Music Group/319 Music label with distribution through Sony Music.
Originally slated to release their debut last fall, Swag District has yet to gain national traction with a follow-up single to the ubiquitous "Dougie," a dance move that even First Lady Michelle Obama showcased a few months ago. But whether by improvement or redoubled focus, their most recent efforts have been more successful than earlier tries. Released Monday, "Burn Out (Drive Fast)" (warning: explicit language) is clearly geared to the "Fast and Furious" crowd, but the beat is a monstrous squealing burner and the raps are surprisingly hard -- far more so than their bubblegum reputation would suggest.
Alongside the new cut, the group has released a free "Deeper than the Dougie" mixtape. Hosted by hardcore New York street DJ Kay Slay, the release finds CSD commendably attempting to display its versatility rather than write 30 straight dance songs -- which might be the wise commercial move. (It's available as a free download at hip-hop site DBIC Mag. Again, explicit language warning.)
The group also noted that "The Kickback" will be a tribute to their fallen friend.
As Yung said in a statement, "We're sure that M Bone is doin' the Dougie at the gates of heaven and we know he would want us to keep the movement goin' here."
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: Cali Swag District in March, from left, Yung, Smoove, M-Bone, JayAre. Credit: Raquel Olivo