Cali Swag District have made their mark on the hip-hop scene with their catchy single "Teach Me How to Dougie." And although the members of CSD — DJ C-Smoove, dancer M-Bone and rappers Yung and JayAre — rep the West Coast, their breakout hit was inspired by moves a pal picked up down South.
"A friend of ours went to Texas Southern [University]. He picked up on the [Dougie] dance [and] he learned how to do it [the way] they do it in Texas," C-Smoove recently told MTV News. "He came back like, 'Y'all should make a song about this dance.' So we made it happen. We went in the booth and we tore it down."
Following their homie's advice, C-Smoove says they hopped in the studio and were quickly inspired by the instrumental.
"Our verses were done before the beat was even finished because once we started to hear the beat we were like, 'This song is [going to] go,' " C-Smoove recalled. "We watched it grow and it became huge."
Once the crew put their Cali spin on the dance, the song took off. Los Angeles radio station Power 106 put it in rotation and the high-energy collective performed with legendary beatbox king Doug E. Fresh at the 2010 BET Awards Pre-Show. The group even scored a slew of stars for the remix, with Jermaine Dupri, B.o.B, Red Café and Bow Wow jumping on the track.
Cali Swag broke down their approach to live shows and explained that they keep the audience in mind when performing.
"We put on a crazy show," C-Smoove said. "The crowd goes crazy. Before we go onstage we think, 'What would we want to see if we were sitting in the audience?' So [when] we go onstage, we're full of energy."
CSD added that they feed off the energy the crowd throws back at them: "When they know your words or something like that, it all just fuels this fire to make us just go out and tear the stage down," Smoove said.
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