Cali Swag District’s Mante “M-Bone” Talbert had his life and career tragically cut short when he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Inglewood, California, on Sunday. M-Bone may have only made his rap debut last year, but the 22-year-old has left a lasting impact on those he collaborated with.
[artist id=”3238990″]B.o.B[/artist], along with [artist id=”450135″]Jermaine Dupri[/artist], [artist id=”1244296″]Red Café[/artist] and [artist id=”1219435″]Bow Wow[/artist], appeared on the official remix of Cali Swag’s platinum hit “Teach Me How to Dougie” and remarked on M-Bone’s positive demeanor. “You know, just from me, the time that I did work with him and just being around him, they definitely had a really good vibe,” Bobby Ray said. “He was the one; he brought a lot of the life with the dance moves. He was really innovative in that aspect of it. Initially, when I heard about the news — when you hear it, it’s almost like, damn, you don’t even want to believe it.”
Red Café echoed a similar sentiment for the fallen hip-hop star. “It was just a lot of fun, especially shooting the video. It was a whole lot of fun,” Red said of the “Dougie” remix clip. “And M-Bone, he was killin’ the dance, he was tryin’ to teach me how to Dougie. He was definitely the dopest one, dancing-wise.”
“I believe that he was the one that they all looked to, to learn how to do the Dougie,” Dupri said. “Everyone was about it, but he was the one who went hard with it.”
M-Bone hasn’t rapped on any of Cali Swag’s released material but provided the quartet with much of its energy, according to JD. “He was instrumental at showing people the dances,” Dupri said. “He was the main inspiration behind the creative dances that ultimately defined the group. He was the fourth member, who didn’t rap, but played his position by taking the lead on creating unique dances.”
Police are still investigating Talbert’s murder. TMZ reported that Bone was possibly murdered by a “jealous man” who threatened Talbert over Twitter. An unnamed woman claiming to be M-Bone’s girlfriend told the site that the man lived in their apartment complex and was envious of the success M-Bone had with Cali Swag District.
As of Tuesday morning (May 17), the Inglewood Police homicide division could not confirm any of this information to MTV News, and at press time, the Los Angeles Times reported that detectives had no solid motive for the murder or clear suspects, though they have talked to several witnesses.
The Inglewood Police Department is asking anyone with information to come forward and call its homicide division at (310) 412-5246 or its 24-hour anonymous hot line at (888) 41 CRIME, or (888) 412-7463.
Stay tuned to MTV News for further details as this story develops.