Cali Swag District(from left to right: M-Bone, JayAre, Yung, and C-Smoove)
Monte' Talbert better known as MBone. Junior high school graduateIn earlier days MBone (middle) with his two brothers Marcell (left) and Montrel (right) and his grandmother Mary Alice Thorpes.Photos are courtesy of the Talbert family.
WHO KILLED MBONE?Family of slain Cali Swag District member MBone questions group member's actions after murderBy Jasmyne A. CannickSpecial to the SentinelLOS ANGELES - It's been one month since the brutal drive-by murder of Monte' Talbert, better known as MBone, one-fourth of the rap group Cali Swag District, and today his family is speaking out and seeking answers as to why the popular 22-year old dancer was shot and killed on May 15 in front of an Inglewood liquor store. A homicide that is still under investigation by the Inglewood Police Department and unsolved.Reports confirm that about 10:30 p.m. on Sunday May 15, police were called to the 400 block of North La Brea in Inglewood where they found Talbert seated in the driver's seat of a black unspecified vehicle, later identified as his girlfriend's car, with two gunshot wounds to the head. He was later transported to UCLA-Harbor Medical Center where Talbert was officially pronounced dead.In a sign of the times, news of MBone's death reached his family first via Twitter, in particular his cousin Qurshia Ford who said she couldn't believe it."No one ever called us or notified about Monte'---as far as the police and the group members are concerned," said Mary Alice Thorpes, MBone's grandmother. "And when we arrived on the scene they had already taken him to UCLA Medical Center."Eyewitness accounts confirm that MBone was seated in his car when the gunmen pulled alongside him in a separate vehicle and let off at least two rounds, before fleeing northbound on La Brea. But at question is the color of the vehicle involved in the shooting.Bubba, a dancer best known for his rendition of the Dougie in the Cali Swag District video, who was with MBone has told authorities that it was a white car that pulled up alongside and fired the shots. Witnesses say the suspect then drove off and then returned to the scene, almost as if to make sure MBone was dead.When the shooter returned to MBone's car, witnesses say the driver yelled the f-word and drove off.Seated in the car's backseat behind MBone was Black Jack, a longtime friend of MBone's who also told police that it was a white car. Black Jack was unharmed during the shooting.But witness accounts also place MBone's friend and fellow CSD member CSmoove at the scene of the murder. Smoove, was seen driving his red Mustang on La Brea around the same time of the shooting. Prompting several witnesses to tell authorities that it was a red car and not a white car that fired the fatal shots into MBone's car.Family members say that these conflicting eyewitness reports on the color of the suspect's car have raised questions, questions they say aren't getting answered."They can say it was white car all day long," said Tony Talbert, MBone's uncle. "The people outside the shooting said that it was a red car. Loud music, ride up, pop pop, turn around, come back, have words, take off. Maybe-can't implicate anybody but one and one isn't adding up to two."Calls to Inglewood Police Department's lead Detective Will Salmon were not returned by press time, but to date, the family says that the police have yet to reach out to them with news regarding MBone's homicide."They haven't questioned us or asked us anything about Monte'," says Mrs. Thorpes, MBone's grandmother. "They never even notified us that he was killed, we learned that news from Twitter."Raising a lot of questions for family members is CSD member's decision to continue with business as usual after MBone's murder, including going out to eat dinner the same night of the murder."After he got killed, Cali Swag didn't stay around to see what was going on," Tony Talbert explains. "They went and had dinner. They didn't stay around and say 'oh my boy just got popped, oh my god'-no remorse. They went and ate."Calls and emails to Cali Swag District creator Big Wy and 319 Music were not returned by press time.He continues, "There isn't a whole lot of remorse.""I want C-Smoov, JayAre, and Yung to think if the shoe was on the other foot, Monte' would have done everything he could have possibly done. He would not have left that scene, trust me. He would have not have seen one of the other members get shot-or been shot and leave."Also at question is whether or not MBone, who was known to wear a lot of red, was a member of a Blood gang in Inglewood."That just doesn't make sense to me because MBone and his father had a huge fight because he thought his son was banging," said Tony Talbert, MBone's uncle. "He got involved in Cali Swag District to get out of that environment. I'm not saying it's not true, but that it's hard to believe given Monte's history."Cali Swag District rose to fame with their 2010 single "Teach Me How to Dougie."The group plans to release a full-length album entitled "The Kickback" July 12 on the independent Sphinx Music Group/319 Music label with distribution through Sony Music.Anyone who was in the area and has information concerning the murder is asked to call the Inglewood Police Homicide Section at (310) 412-5246, or the 24-hour anonymous hotline number 888-41-CRIME (888-412-7463).VIDEO: Log online to www.lasentinel.net to see the families interview.