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Lil Buck Explains Memphis Jookin On Colbert Report After Video “Goes To China”

Charles ‘Lil Buck’ Riley is taking the world by storm with his dance moves which consist of the street dance Jookin that originated in Memphis, TN. The 24 year-old dancer who appeared in a number of street performances and several volumes of the Memphis Jookin DVD directed by Memphis rapper and producer Young Jai has gained national attention due to his performance with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Lil Buck who garnered over 2 million view from his first video with Yo-Yo Ma went on to take his talent to China with the cellist and Meryl Streep, then alongside Madonna after being handpicked by the singer herself and landing a national Gap ad campaign, as reported on

Lil Buck, who has mesmerized many eyes with his dance skills, also became one of 25 people to watch by Dance Magazine in 2012 and is continuing to capture the world with his moves.

Now dancer Lil Buck has caught the eye of Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, whom he sat down with in an interview with and even taught to do a little bit of Memphis buck jumping.

According to Stephen Colbert, Lil Buck caught his eye after he watched his videos on YouTube and one video in particular that caught his eye was ‘Lil Buck Goes To China,’ which is a mini-documentary commissioned by the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations while Buck was there for the inaugural U.S.-China Forum on the Arts and Culture.

Lil Buck, in his television interview, was happy to hear that Colbert watched his videos and asked him did he try any of the dances moves.

Candidly, Colbert told Lil Buck that he got his own moves.

Lil Buck went on to explain where Memphis Jookin came from and that it originated almost 30 years ago in Memphis, TN from a ‘line-dance’ – the Gangsta Walk.

“They call it the Gangsta Walk because a lot of people like from the urban neighborhoods, from the hood … They use to do like, a confident line dance, really confident.. you would see like in Cyrstal Palace (a skating rink)…” stated Lil Buck.

Lil Buck went on to tell Colbert that Gangsta Walking evolved to Jookin.

Buck went on to explain how he caught the eye of a ballet instructor when he was with the Memphis dance group Subculture Royalty when they used a practice at the New Ballet Ensemble & School studio.

“The ballet teacher saw me spinning on my toes. I did like four spins, maybe 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10… But when she saw me spinning she was like ‘oh my gosh’ I have to give this kid a scholarship and put him in a class.”

Buck says he was hesitant about ballet because his first thought was ‘tights,’ but they said he wouldn’t have to wear the tights.

Everything went on from there for Lil Buck landing him to perform Swan Lake with the world renowned and multiple award winning Yo-Yo Ma.

In other news, Lil Buck is reported to have been working with late martial artist, Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, for a project which will be a dance show based on Bruce Lee’s philosophy, WSJ reports.

Check out Lil Buck’s interview on The Colbert Report here.

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