M-Bone was a promising rapper with the up-and-coming SoCal outfit Cali Swag District before he was tragically gunned down Sunday night in a drive-by shooting.
He'll be sorely missed by hip-hop fans, not only because the community lost a great talent, but because of a life barely lived.
Here are five things to know about the late M-Bone (please note, the above video contains graphic language):
1. His Personal Stats: M-Bone was born Montae Talbert on Sept. 17, 1988. He grew up in Inglewood, Calif., and joined Cali Swag fresh out of his teens. According to his bio listed on Cali Swag's website, his dream date was Alicia Keys; his favorite video game was Madden Football; favorite clothing brand was Misfits; favorite place to visit was Europe; his favorite movie (sadly enough) was Boyz n the Hood, "because it reminds him of when he grew up in L.A."
2. Always the Joker: M-Bone frequently thought of himself as the wild man of the quartet. He liked to crack wise, had a lot of tattoos and often bragged that he was going to out-ink his fellow MCs and, per his bio, "probably be the one to end up with the most." He also loved Twitter: "When I'm bored, I can just hop on Twitter and find a funny Trending topic...and we just go in and make it fun...every time we perform they always make us a trending topic." As for his favorite artists, M liked Eminem and Ludacris especially, but also didn't mind slow jams by Jamie Foxx, R. Kelly and Justin Timberlake.
3. Success in CSD: Cali Swag District, which also includes C-Smoove, aka Smoove Da General, Yung and JayAre, signed to Capitol Records' Checkmate Entertainment imprint last year, where they released the infectious club hit "Teach Me How to Dougie," a tune that paid tribute to the dance craze hatched by '80s hip-hop icon Doug E. Fresh ("Pop tha collar! Now Walk It Like a Dog!!!"). "Dougie" sold over a million copies and peaked at No. 28 on the Billboard charts in 2010. It was so successful that it spawned two remixes, one featuring Bow Wow, Jermaine Dupri, B.O.B. and Red Cafe, and another with Sean Kingston and B.O.B. It also led to a record deal. Their second single, "Where You Are," followed up by sampling Michael Jackson's 1972 gem, "I Wanna Be Where You Are," and reached 22 on the Billboard rap chart.
4. The Future Looked Bright: Just before his death, M-Bone and his mates were getting ready to hype Cali Swag District's debut album, The Kickback, set to drop on Oct. 12. On their website, the rising hip-hop stars let it be known that they're "not dance rappers" but rather "lyrical artists" who are "Pro Propostion [sic] 420" and "don't wear skinny jeans!!!"
5. Reaction to His Death: In the aftermath of last night's shooting, Smoove Da General took to Twitter to mourn the loss of his brotha. "Ma life changed drasticall in the. Blink of an eye. Rip mbone," he tweeted. "I'm crushed. . .jus seen Ma N---a on the news. . .idk wat to think or say. . .I'm hurting man real talk." Smoove added "thanx to everybody who had sumthin positive to say to me and for Montae."
Cali Swag District's publicist also issued the following statement today on Talbert's death:
"Cali Swag District member Mante "M-Bone" Talbert was the victim of a random act of violence last night, Sunday, May 15th in his hometown of Inglewood, CA. As police are still investigating the shooting and untimely death we ask that anyone with information contact the Inglewood Police Department. Mante, aged 22, was the comedic entertainer of Cali Swag District (who helped launch "The Dougie" to mainstream audiences) and was an inspiration to his family, friends and fans. He was a hardworking, passionate artist and dancer that will be deeply missed."