With the hip-hop community mourning the [article id="1663922"]death of Mante "M-Bone" Talbert[/article], TMZ caught up with his Cali Swag bandmates C-Smoove and JayAre and got their reaction to the 22-year old dancer's demise.
The first order of business for C-Smoove was to clear up any misconceptions surrounding the events of Sunday, May 15. TMZ has previously reported that M-Bone's death may have come at the hands of a [article id="1664017"]"jealous man"[/article] who was envious of the group's success.
"I wanna clear up: 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," C-Smoove says in the video posted on the gossip site. "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."
It's unclear whether any members of CSD actually witnessed the murder, but C-Smoove goes on to describe the drive-by shooting which ultimately claimed M-Bone's life. "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."
In the next portion of the clip, Smoove breaks down in tears. After the unseen interviewer asks the two rappers what they would say to M-Bone's family, Smoove begins to cry. "We are his family," he says, his voice cracking.
JayAre goes on to detail the group's special bond with M-Bone. "We was the closest thing Mante had [to family]. He was always on his own and when we started Cali Swag, we tried to do a family," he explained. "He was a brother to me. He meant a lot. I don't even feel the same without him."
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 hotline number, (888) 41 CRIME, or (888) 412-7463.
Stick with MTV News for further details as this story develops.