Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2011


Montae Talbert did not have a very long hip-hop résumé. In fact, although he was part of the upstart Cali Swag District, Talbert never actually did any vocals, leaving the lyricism to his colleagues. Instead, he took a dance popularized in Dallas — named in honor of '80s rap pioneer Doug E. Fresh — took it to California and restyled it for a new generation. In 2009, Talbert's moves went viral, garnering worldwide fame, and a hit single based on Talbert's choreography called "Teach Me How to Dougie" was so popular that it caught the eye of First Lady Michelle Obama, who incorporated the moves into her kids'-fitness campaign. But without warning on May 15, 2011, while sitting in a car with a friend, another vehicle pulled up and shot Talbert, killing him at the age of 22. Police still have no motive in the slaying, but some have speculated that many were jealous of Talbert's success. For their part, the remaining members of Cali Swag District released the album The Kickback in July.