Members of the rap group 'Cali Swag District' JayAre, Yung and C-Smoove pose in the press room at the BET Awards '11 held at the Shrine Auditorium on June 26, 2011 in Los Angeles

*The show must go on for members of rap group Cali Swag District.

The group never imagined they’d be releasing their long-delayed debut album next week without member Montae “M-Bone” Talbert, who was killed in a driveby shooting in their Inglewood, CA hometown last May.

In dealing with the loss, “We use each other as motivation,” said CSD’s Chante “Yung” Glee backstage at the recent BET Awards. “When one of us is down, all of us is down, so we talk about it, lift each other up and we just say, ‘Let’s go hard for M-Bone.’ If he was here, he’d be going hard with us. But he’s not, so we’re gonna go hard for him.”

On May 15, M-Bone, 22, was in his car after visiting a local liquor store when he was shot twice in the head.  He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The case remains unsolved.

Yung and fellow remaining members Cahron “JayAre” Childs and Corey “C-Smoove” Fawler pointed to their tribute jackets and the song they released eight days after his death, titled “How to Do That,” as examples of how they are keeping M-Bone’s memory alive.

“It was like a happy song you could dance to because that’s what M-Bone was,” said Yung. [Scroll down to hear the song.] “He was always happy, always dancing. He was just a gift to this world. With that said, we’ve just been going hard ever since. Nonstop.”

  • In the bonus audio below, Yung talks about keeping production close to home on their debut album “The Kickback,” to be released Tuesday, July 12, following numerous delays.

Cali Swag District on production for The Kickback by CherieNic