Memphis Jookin (also known as Gangsta Walking, Buckin and Choppin) is a unique art form characterized by freestyle movements and hip hop swag. Born out of the late 80s Memphis, Tennessee “gangsta” club scene, Jookin has since evolved into an outlet for urban youth and more.
American dancer Lil Buck, is one of the movement’s most notable dancers, and here he shares his top sources of influence and inspiration:
1. “Gangsta”, G-Style, 1993
“This video made the list because it was released in the early 90s when the Memphis Rap/Jookin group G-Style were at the forefront on The Gangsta Walk/Jookin Scene in Memphis. It gives you a lot of insight into the culture of Gangsta Walking which is the core of Jookin.”
2. “They Buckin Mane”, various artists, 2006
“This video to me is one of the greatest Jookin videos of all time. It was Jookin perfection and the right combination of Jookers so you see the many different styles each Jooker has.”
3. “Choppin Like Dat”, Lil Buck, 2007
“This video is the first youtube video uploaded of me. It still resonates with me and inspires aspiring dancers to this day.”
4. “Lil Buck & Primetyme DanceOn Jookin Performance”, Lil Buck and Ron Myles, 2014
“This made the list simply because I enjoy doing Jookin choreography and Ron Myles is my favorite Jooker to perform with.”
5. “Camron vs Dra’em Young Legends”, LA Productions, 2015
“This made the list because I love to see the youth involved in the movement. And these young guys are the future of Jookin.”
Thanks to Jookin’s mesmerizing moves, this hyper-local Black dance movement has reached far beyond the streets of Memphis, making its mark on American pop culture.
See how Lil Buck’s street style manifests in everything from music videos to museums:
Janelle Monáe – Tightrope [feat. Big Boi] music video, 2010
Yo Yo Ma And Lil’ Buck Do ‘The Swan’ in Beijing, 2014
Lil Buck for Versace, 2015
Belly – Ballerina | Lil Buck x Jessica Keller | Dance Video #StyleOnPointe, 2016
Lil Buck at Fondation Louis Vuitton, 2016
Check out the journey of Jookin on YouTube from Lil Buck’s Top 5 Jookin YouTube Videos to Lil Buck and Jookin’s influence on American pop culture to prestigious performances at the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Credits: Google Arts & Culture