Release Date: Jul 12, 2011
Record label: Capitol
Genre(s): Rap, West Coast Rap, Pop-Rap
Though this is only their first album, the California collective have already been through a career’s worth of lows (the May 2011 murder of member M-Bone) and highs (even the First Lady knows how to Dougie). The Kickback contains the confidence of a veteran group, dancing on the high wire between sex-jam chasm and badass top-down-cruising canyon. Of course, the centerpiece is still ”Teach Me How to Dougie” — think of it as the ”Smells Like Teen Spirit” of trash-talking party rap.
It’s tragic that the album where the massive party hit “Teach Me How to Dougie” finds its home includes a dedication to the memory of one of its members. This isn’t gangsta rap, and Cali Swag District are arguably just a less strange version of the Pack with some added mass appeal, but a drive-by shooting cut member M-Bone down in his prime, and this debut effort is dedicated to him. Past that sour note, The Kickback is a cool, slick, and easy party for the most part, with the occasional ballad slowing things down a bit too much.
From “Crank That” to “Walk It Out” to “You’re A Jerk,” a simple yet universally accessible ‘Hip-Pop’ dance record always seems to stream through the radio airwaves months on end until it becomes musically irrelevant. Last year’s contender was Cali Swag District, made up of C-Smoove, Yung, JayAre and the now-deceased M-Bone, who staked their claim with “Teach Me How To Dougie.” Offering their debut album The Kickback, the Inglewood trio looks to expand their name beyond a move inspired by Doug E. Fresh.