Some people may think that 314 Day was something that came out of the blue. Some refer to it as “Pi Day.” Some think of it a just a normal day, March 14, but here not only is it St. Louis’ zip code, but it’s known as 314 Day! For those who recognize the day as that, those people may go to their favorite St. Louis spot, or even eat at their favorite St. Louis restaurant like Imos or even get some Chinese Food or Ted Drewes; BUT that’s not the purpose behind the day. Young Dip, the founder of 314 Day, had and still has a different meaning behind the day and even a vision for it. He sat down with Delux to talk about it.
DELUX: What motivated you create the day, 314 Day?
Young Dip: I remember one of my mentors told me “to keep you a good circle around you.” So, I remember when I was getting the opportunity to do radio, he told me not to go in blind, to have a plan and to leave a legacy and have a lasting impression that’ll leave a foot print in the city. I remember going to the crib and praying on it. Then, this came out of nowhere. I remember thinking that I wanted something that’s going to almost be like a holiday/bring a good vibe to the city; or at least for one day have that feeling when “Country Grammar” came out or for one day no killing, just peaceful and have unity. That’s what I wanted to leave behind for the city and my daughters.
DELUX: What part of St. Louis are you from?
Young Dip: I was in a foster on the Northside, but my original family is from the Westside and Walnut Park, so I was bouncing everywhere but majority on the Westside when I got of age.
DELUX: Do you think your upbringing and background motivated you to create such a day of important?
Young Dip: It definitely did. Growing up as a kid in a foster home, you always get the thought of “Why am I here?” “Does anybody love me?” “Does anybody care about me?” In the back of your head, you think “once I get older, I am going to change that outlook.” I just knew I didn’t want to be in that mind state, I wanted to do better and more. I seen other people with other kids and families and that’s I wanted and that’s what I did.
DELUX: When you first created 314 Day, did you imagine it’ll get this big? Of course, it started out as an idea, but now there’s concerts and original St. Louis spots sponsoring foods.
Young Dip: A lot of people don’t know that they got blindsided by the events, it’s actually bigger. The vision is ten times bigger than that. I’ve been trying to put together the foundation. I have the 314 Day Company, but I’ve been trying to put together the 314 Day Foundation that helps unity in the city, empower and help people’s dream flourish. It was a dream to me, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I always thought to the clouds with everything I did. Once I got people to really understand that the parties were just to get the name out.
DELUX: How big do you want it to get?
Young Dip: I want it to be a foundation to the point where we have a festival for it. The other thing is to try to get it to not just be urban but be St. Louis in general. The day is cultured, I have white listeners but some that’ll run with the “Pi Day” saying and the urban community say 314 day.
But believe it or not, I haven’t gained anything financially from 314 Day in the past 6 years. It took years to get this branded. A lot of people think it came out of nowhere. I started this in 2006-2007 and it took at least 7-8 years just for people to use it as household name. The first day it trended, I was excited; so that first step was done. The next step was spreading vision to everybody. It’s hard doing that because you get a lot of people that see the bag (money) and they go for it. Even though I own the name, my lawyers advise me to send cease and desist but me being the person I am in St. Louis, I always support people, so it’ll make me look like the petty dude, so I take a lot of things on the chin and keep it moving forward for the bigger picture. That’s the biggest thing that bothers me and not too much bothers me, but this is my legacy and my footprint in the city. I actually have a blueprint and taking it into every city and them doing the same thing because it’s so much bigger than St. Louis, it’s bigger than me. I step backwards but I’m getting advised to step forward. Imagine every city on their area code day, do the same as us. I shot the idea to my friends who are known in Houston and Atlanta. If I can get the popular radio jocks in each city to go to one of the popular artists to support it and explain what we want to do as far as stopping the violence and/or any issues they are having in their city, they can use that platform to attack it. St. Louis has won when it came to challenges like that. After Mike Brown, I did the Heal and Rebuild challenge that year. I would tell people let’s have one day with no violence and extend our hand out to someone else. I’m getting more people on board with that, hopefully again this year we can do the same thing.
DELUX: Did you get the name, 314 Day, branded before you actually started it or years after the fact?
Young Dip: With the respect that I get in the city and how I treat people, when I first started it, the streets supported it. The people you have to worry about are those who are in the position of power. Based on my brand and my character, people didn’t try to take it and run with it, so it was a lot of respect. But I think by the 3rd or 4th year, I wanted to make sure it was done right, so I got it done business wise.
DELUX: Some people, like myself, when 314 Day came up, I would say to myself “Oh it’s 314 day, let me order some Chinese Food or Imos,” but after hearing you talk about it more. It’s definitely bigger than supporting your original St. Louis food places. So, you would say it’s about support and positivity.
Young Dip: Yes. It’s about unity. Unity is key. Some people may look at you as a threat and with St. Louis being small, they can shut a door and halt you for two years or however many, but they can stop you! Anybody in the city that has accomplished something, someone has probably tried to do that to them but if you have the skill set, the dream and you believe in it, they can’t stop anything you doing. I could be some old Westside Young Dip dude, or I can do what I preach. I can take the Dr. Martin Luther King route and not the Malcolm X route. I gotta lead by example. I take a lot on the chin just for the city. At the end of the day, I want that “Country Grammar” vibe when Nelly dropped. I don’t care If you Black, White, Asian, the whole city was together, and it felt good.
We got superstars like Jayson Tatum, Bradley Beal, and Ezekiel Elliott. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a basketball or football team that’s going to bring in revenue that’ll ultimately help the community. People don’t understand that if we don’t have anything going on or if we’re not buzzing, they will look over us. The St. Louis culture is beyond dope. We had people like Chuck Berry and Tina Turner, we have so much history here. People don’t want to give Nelly his dues, but this man went Diamond and not many artists have done that. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be powerhouses like Atlanta and Houston.
DELUX: Did your platform of being on the radio earlier on, help you spread the word about 314 Day or were you not on the radio yet when you first implemented it?
Young Dip: I was in the process of getting on the radio. It was something that was thought about beforehand, like a year before, but that following year when I was offered the night jock position at the radio station, I started putting together my 5- and 10-year goals. Then we launched the 314 Day, me and my friend Tatum and after that it was a wrap. He really believed in me and at the time, he was running Pimp Juice, which was my first endorsement. Nelly, Murphy Lee and Kequan and everyone on their team supported me. Once social media really took over, we were trending. But the radio platform did help with spreading the word about 314 Day, along with street promo, coworkers, other DJs, and artists; who jumped behind it and believed in the vision. I remember being emotional when we had a big turn out at an event because my vision had came to life.
DELUX: Do you have any say so with the concerts being held on 314 Day, like the State of Emergency Tour in the past?
Young Dip: Slim is probably one of the greatest minds in promotions. It got to the point where it got bigger than me. So, with him being a brilliant promoter, throwing a concert on 314 Day would help the brand. It’s not always about the bag. I might not financially gain off this for another 5 years, but it could be millions of dollars depending on what route it takes, so my thing wasn’t always financial gain, even though I put I money in. I just know the bigger picture. It’s about the city.
DELUX: What’s keeping you busy these days?
Young Dip: This. 314 Day is a year-round thing. Being a father, which is my main focus. Like I said before, growing up in a foster care system, my family comes first before anything. Ive also been behind the scenes on a lot of things. I’m managing a lot of artists and help them get launched. Im working on a “St. Louis 7” project, where Im taking 7 artists and help them get signed or some type of situation by the end of the summer or the end of the year. Also, I have the LouPrint Mixtape/EP, with a lot of hot artists in the city, since my background is radio, and just putting them all on one project and putting it out there for free on 314 day. Other than that, just being a family man and grinding like everyone else.
DELUX: Do you think St. Louis gets underestimated for its creativity due to the violence overshadowing the good the city has to offer?
Young Dip: Yes! Right now, in the music world, the heartbeat, the sound of the industry is from a St. Louis guy…. Metro Boomin, flat out! The culture we have here, it’s beyond crazy. I was talking to a couple people telling them Jayson Tatum is going to pass Lebron James. I’ve known him since he was young. I’ve seen everything. He was prepped and molded for this. He’s going to be something special. We have so much talent here in St. Louis and It does get overshadowed by a lot. But shout out to the younger generation. Its some young guys out here who are really sticking together, a lot of them are also on the St. Louis 7 project.
DELUX: What do you do to help out in the community?
Young Dip: I have a brotherhood called the Goodfellas, and we’re really tight. A few years ago, we lost a couple of brothers; RIP to my brother Slim, and Fee; he was killed a day after Mike Brown, so I was in the worst head space. But we go out and touch the community. Last year, we handed out blessing bags that have sandwiches, water, deodorant, toothbrush and leave a positive note in the bag and deliver it to the homeless. This year we are doing a popup shop with the Hunts Foundation for small black owned businesses at Harris Stowe Saturday March 16 (flyer posted at end of story.). The proceeds are going to Scholarships in the Normandy School District. Everything is invested right back into the city. So that’s the community event this year.
DELUX: What is one thing you’ll change about St. Louis?
Young Dip: Honestly, I’m not God, so I wouldn’t change anything because we wouldn’t be who we are if we weren’t dealt the hand we were given. I’m a God-fearing man, and things happen for a reason. I would like the unity to be better.
DELUX: To piggyback off that, where would you like to see the city go?
Young Dip: To be where we’re supposed to be, period. Like for us t be a powerhouse, for us to stand out in entertainment, political, financial, etc. I always refer back to Nelly because he was one of the artists who went out first and he jumped from genre to genre. He inspired and motivated a lot of people like me. I’m tired of us getting looked over. We would’ve never lost our football team if we would’ve had tome type of light shining on us. We have to make sure we have the right people in the position of power. For instance, here at Streetz 105.1, DJ Tab went from being a DJ from his bedroom to having his own station, so he wouldn’t have to deal with the politics of other stations, which is dope!
DELUX: What’s next for you?
Young Dip: I’m running for mayor. (laughs). I’m just playing. I’m back in the marketing game, so I have a lot of fun events I’m doing. I’ve don’t everything else, and I have a lot big projects planned as well. I always have something up my sleeve.
‘Don’t call it a comeback people. I ain’t went nowhere. I’ve lived in St. Louis this whole entire time. This my crib and I’m not going anywhere no time soon.’
DELUX: Any last words that you want the people to know?
Young Dip: It’s not about Dip. It’s way bigger than Dip. It’s an opportunity to help the city do something positive. The whole unity thing. I always preach it, but I don’t think people really understand what it can really do like how many jobs it can bring into the city. This 314 Day vibe can create so much stuff. I just want people to stand by me and help me get this to where it needs to be.
Make sure you follow Young Dip on Instagram @YoungDip314 and check out his event with the Hunts Foundation at Harris Stowe Saturday March 16 from 2pm-6pm.