Hip-hop Media training

Cali Swag District Adds West Coast Flava To ‘Dougie’ Dance

Hip-Hop Media Training

CaliSwag District is the latest group of West Coast MCs to emerge on thehip-hop scene. The four-man outfit hails from Inglewood, California(attended my old high school Morningside High) and made a name for itself lastfall with the independent release "Teach Me How To Dougie" that generated abuzz and caught the attention of the city's leading radio station KPWR 106 FM.


Within month, the group was signing a deal with CaptiolRecords. I recently got on the phone with three of the members -- DJ/MC C-Smooveand rappers JayAre and Yung -- as they embarked on their first promotional tour.

They discussed their new found celebrity, bringing thesouthern Dougie dance out West, and meeting Snoop Dogg, who happens to be theCreative Chairman for Capitol's sister label Priority Records.


HIP HOP MEDIATRAINING: Where are you guys?

C-SMOOVE: We are in Saint Louis.

Is this the firsttime you guys have ever been on a promo tour?

C-Smoove. Yes it is. It's a real good feeling to actually goaround and see all these people who actually know the words to our song. It'seven better to present the song to people who haven't heard it yet and watchthem grow and start to like it.

How does it feel toknow that people in other cities and states know your music?

C-Smoove: It's crazy to see these people come up and wantour autographs, and want us to perform for them. It's real exciting. It's ablessing.

Do you classifyyourself as a jerk group or a group who has jerk songs?

C-Smoove: We try to separate ourselves from the jerk musicbecause a lot comes with that. You have the skinny jeans, the bright colors andthe way you dress.

Yung: Jerking is like a whole 'nother world from what we do.

C-Smoove: The song 'Teach Me How To Dougie,' that's just likea southern dance, the dance has nothing to do with the jerk. We made a songcalled 'Jerk Dog' just because the jerk movement is so hot, but that song wasfor fun. We like to get on our grown man on. When we step out, we put on buttonups, pea coats and stuff like that. Shout out to everybody who is a part of thejerk movement.

[Lil Will's 'MyDougie'] song and dance came out a couple years ago. What was it about it thatmade you guys bring it back?

C-Smoove: The dance was real hot in Texas. But in Inglewood it was something that we juststarted to do. And a friend of ours from Morningside class of '08, he went towent to Texas Southern, and on his break hecame back and said, 'The Dougie is hot out in Texas, everybody does it.' He knows how todo the dance better than everybody in our city. He came up with the hook. Hewas like, 'Y'all should do a song about the Dougie.' We said we would roll withit.

How did you guys allcome together as a group?

C-Smoove: We grew up together. We all did our separate thingsin music. I was a DJ, Yung, he was spitting. JayAre started rapping when he wasin the 10th grade. M-Bone had been dancing forever. Once [ourmanager] Big Y seen us all together, he already had the intention of putting usall together as a group, but when he saw us, he was like, 'Ok, you guys aregoing to be group that I've been trying to put together.'

How did Captiol takenotice?

C-Smoove: Big Y, he knew so many people from when he wassigned to Death Row. He was reaching out to many people. Other labels werereaching out to us. The radio station reached out to us after a few months ofthe video being on the internet. Once the radio station reached out, Captiolstepped in and put their stamp on it about 7 months after we became a group.

Now, Snoop is an executiveat EMI. Have you had a chance to sit down and talk to him?

C-Smoove: We actually met Snoop at his red carpet event for More Malice In Wonderland. He's a realcool dude. I guess he was kinda like what we expected because we seen him on TVwith his kids. He showed much love. He wasn't arrogant like people think mostartists are.

When Snoop met youwhat did he say?

C-Smoove: Before we actually walked up [and introducedourselves], me and M-Bone was waiting on the other guys. [Snoop] came up, andhe shook our hands. We were like, 'Does he know who we are?' When we gotoutside he mentioned that he did know who were and said that he liked the songand wanted to hop on the remix.

Yung: He said that he respect the fact that we dideverything ourselves and didn't go around asking people to try to get our musicplayed. We basically took everything upon ourselves and took our music and letit happen to get to where we are now.

[L.A.'s] Power 106 started playing the song.Did you realize what was happening when you saw that Power was playing the songa lot?

C-Smoove: We were at work so much we didn't have a lot oftime to listen to the radio. We had people calling us, telling us it was on. Thefirst time we heard it we still got it on camera. We never imagined our song onnot only the radio but the one of the hottest stations in our city.

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