Hate it or love it, escaping from the Cali Swag District’s breakthrough record “Teach Me How To Dougie” is damn near impossible. Embraced by Top 40 radio stations across the country and spun almost as a necessity by any of your favorite club DJs, the Doug E. Fresh inspired track was actually the first time the group ever laid their vocals together.
“’Teach Me how to Dougie’ was the very first song that we recorded as a group. And after it took off we knew that our chemistry was golden,” says CSD’s Yung.
C-Smoove chimes in: “One of my friends actually put us on to the ‘Dougie’. He’s from Inglewood but was staying down in Texas and when he came back he told us how popular the dance was down there.”
Adding their West Coast flavor to the song and accompanying dance was a no-brainer for Inglewood-born quartet (C-Smoove, Yung, JayAre & M-Bone). The group formed when an acquaintance by the name of Big Wy suggested the childhood friends pursue their musical calling as a crew.
“We grew up together in the same neighborhood and one day we met out manager Big Wy who helped us mesh together as a group, musically. Same schools, same friends—we all lived walking distance from each other. I was still working at Food For Less before we signed our deal. Yung was in school still,” says C-Smoove, the self-proclaimed leader of the group.
Having been embraced by artists from all genres of music including Katy Perry, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, and Robin Thicke, Cali Swag District admits their true shining moment came from none other than the originator, Doug E. Fresh,
“It was definitely a career highlight to get on stage with the legend,” C-Smoove said. “We all felt honored to get embraced by Doug E. He made sure to tell always make sure we have fun with our music.”
Currently, the boys are busy balancing their undeniable “teen rap” appeal and the thirst to be taken serious as artists. Though “Dougie” put them on the hip-hop radar, the group insists that the dance rap image is not for them.
“Our fear was having people think that we’re rap a group that just makes dance songs,” says JayAre. “That’s not our image.”
“We want to be a group for everybody,” says Smoove. “Not just one demographic of fans. Our album is just how we felt at the moment. The album is titled The Kickback because we were literally having parties’ everyday. Every song was based on our mood of that day. It was all about having fun.”
Cali Swag District’s debut album is set for a Nov. 9 release date on Capitol Records. —Mikey Fresh