Don't listen to me, look through the slide show of wailing mourners from last Friday's funeral for Cali Swag District dancer, Montae "M-Bone" Talbert, to get a partial understanding of what his group mates have endured since his death May 15.
Perhaps the most cathartic form of bereavement has been the recording and release of "How to Do That," the Inglewood rap group's tribute to their fallen friend. Though the Swag District have shown little interest in doing more dance songs in the vein of their smash single "Teach Me How to Dougie," their latest is a dance song -- because you can't pay homage to a dancer with anything less than a song that makes you want to dance.
There are no instructive moves, just the strain of spacey futuristic slink that made their first single so effective. Granted, it's unlikely to sell 2 million units, but it's certainly one of the best things that the group has done. Jayare reminisces on trips to malls and Melrose, and laments M-Bone's fateful trip to the liquor store to purchase a blunt ("should've put it in a bong").
The song's purpose is explained in the following line: "M-Bone lives through me, Smoove and Yung." The latter eulogizes M-Bone as the "one who brought the energy ... with swag sitting on the galaxies." Smoov describes him as "the life of the party ... lighting the stage up like spotlights."
With Talbert's slaying still unresolved, the Cali Swag District members do their comrade justice, shifting the focus back on the music and their friend who they lost to the streets.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Inglewood Police Department homicide division at (310) 412-5246 or the 24-hour anonymous hotline, (888) 412-7463.
Cali Swag District speaks on the death of M-Bone
Photo gallery: M-Bone's funeral
Everyone's doing the 'Dougie,' but what's next for Cali Swag District?
-- Jeff Weiss
Download MP3: Cali Swag District, "How to Do That"
Photo: A funeral attendee holds a program during services for slain Cali Swag District rapper Montae "M-Bone" Talbert. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press