If you haven’t heard of Social Currency Enterprises, it’s time to get familiar. Founded by DaBaby’s manager Daud ‘King’ Carter, who also co-founded the Charlotte-based label South Coast Music Group, the collective is composed of rising stars ZayTheGOAT, Hotboy Shaq, Littlejohn4k, and Tianis Rose — all of which hail their own unique sound, style, swag, personality, and superstar qualities.
Now, Social Currency unveils their first-ever compilation album titled Full House, which was recorded at EMPIRE Studios in the Bay Area. The 14-track collaborative project showcases the vocals and talents of each artist involved, with all-star features from Rich Homie Quan, Toosii, and Yung Bleu. Spearheaded by lead singles “Ain’t Been the Same, “Stressing,” and “Where I Come From,” Full House is chock-full of emotion, passion, dedication, and nothing short of braggadocious bars and intricate melodies.
AllHipHop: For those who don’t know, who is Social Currency?
ZayTheGOAT: Social Currency is a full house that’s full of talent with different lanes that can captivate everybody. You have Littlejohn, she’s super melodic but also can touch and gravitate to different levels of people. You have Hotboy Shaq who’s very outspoken and very versatile as well. When he does things, it comes off super cool because he’s gangsta, but it also comes off like an OG in a sense where he gets a different level of respect. Tianis Rose, she’s the foreign vibe. You feel like you’re on an island when you listen to her music. Then it’s me, you have the GOAT. That’s the guy who’s very great. He tries to stay humble, but at the same time he knows that…
Littlejohn4K: He’s being too humble man, we the hottest label in the m############ world! We’re the hottest label in the world.
AllHipHop: Why are you guys the hottest label in the world?
LittleJohn4k: We got everything you need.
Shaq: We got the whole package. If you wanna cry, if you really going through some things, if you wanna vibe out, if you wanna listen to real music, we’ve got everything you’re going through. We’ve got the total package with us. You not gon’ miss nothing with Social Currency, ever.
Littlejohn4k: That’s where the name Full House comes from, because it’s really like we’re a real full house. You got the streets, you got the culture, man you got everything. Literally, everything you can ask for in music, is right here in Social Currency.
AllHipHop: How did you guys come up with the Full House title? Were y’all watching it?
LittleJohn4k: Man, shout out EMPIRE.
ZayTheGOAT: They did that.
All: We had different ideas, but definitely shout out to EMPIRE.
Shaq: We grew into liking it.
Littlejohn4K: Yeah, it had to grow on me. I ain’t gonna lie.
AllHipHop: What does the cover art represent?
ZayTheGOAT: A full house, but it’s got all our photos on it. It shows how we all come together and make this creation. Nobody can stop us.
Littlejohn4K: The lines in the cover art are supposed to represent individuality.
AllHipHop: You guys all went to San Francisco to record at EMPIRE studios. What was that experience like?
ZayTheGOAT: It’s definitely an experience…. it’s a vibe.
Hotboy Shaq: They made sure we were good while we was there.
Littlejohn4K: I made some of my best music out there, honestly. It’s a different vibe. The studio is so amazing and beautiful, we not used to that. I might speak Spanish on the song and I don’t even know Spanish.
Hotboy Shaq: Look, I hopped on a Spanish track.
ZayTheGOAT: You feel me, no cap. In the studio down here, s### it’s a vending machine. When we go up there, they have the snacks out for you and they’re going to get refilled soon as they run out.
Littlejohn4K: Man, Zay talking about the snacks. [laughs]
ZayTheGOAT: It wasn’t nothing like them Butterfingers, those Butterfingers was turning me up.
Littlejohn4K: Nah, it wasn’t nothing like them seaweed things.
ZayTheGOAT: They got those chefs that come up there too, though. It’s a whole vibe, no cap.
Hotboy Shaq: We had Thanksgiving early in there. [laughs]
AllHipHop: What are those convos with Ghazi and Nima?
ZayTheGOAT: We really just got introduced to them. I really wanted to tell them “We’re going to take over the world.” I really want to see that for us, because it’s everybody. I don’t even feel like I’m going to take over the world, Shaq, Littlejohn, and Tianis are going to take over the world. Just as much, if not more.
Hotboy Shaq: We’re all going to take over.
Littlejohn4K: We’re really going to be one of those first labels where everybody goes at the same time. You’ve got a lot of labels where one or two people might go, but I really don’t see that with Social Currency. I really see each one of us going at the same time, literally at the same time. We’re going to be mad at each other. “Bro, I want you to come to my show in Cali!” He’s like “Man, I’m booked in Detroit.” Zay’s like “Man, I’m in the A for the weekend.” Dang, we can’t even see each other no more.
AllHipHop: You guys have such good energy together. How does it feel to come together and do a project?
Hotboy Shaq: It’s war!
ZayTheGOAT: It’s everything. We’re going to have the arguments, the fights. We’re going to have the big come togethers where we’re against others, then we’re going to have the times we really sharpen each other’s iron or steel. Help each other become better and grow from different realms, not just in music but in life, too. We all need that, that’s something that really takes us to the next level musically as well.
Hotboy Shaq: Fasho.
Littlejohn4K: Facts. Nah, we definitely throw them hands, though. They know who got the real hands. They be trying me because my hands are a little bit smaller than theirs. [laughs]
Hotboy Shaq: What Zay said, I feel the same way.
AllHipHop: What was the process behind hand-selecting what songs to include on Full House?
Hotboy Shaq: Really, we already had tracks made. We said “Let’s finish it up and make more music, see what we want to pick from.” Every track we had was A1. We didn’t miss on no track, every track was a hit. I’m not even saying that because I’m with the label or I’m an artist, I’m saying that off the feedback we had got from it. Everybody understood, they said “Y’all made hits! Every song on there is a hit.” Once we found that out, it was really easy. At first, we didn’t know how we wanted to do the tracklist because it was so hard. We didn’t know how we were going to do the tracklist, so it took us a minute. It took us almost two weeks to do the tracklist.
Littlekohn4K: Yeah, because songs kept getting added. Songs were getting dropped. We got a lot of music that didn’t make it to the album that’s crazy, like crazy. It was one of them situations where it was all so great, so good, we just didn’t know where to go with it. At first, they was nervous and scared about how we were going to feel as artists. If my song ain’t first or if this song ain’t in it, but once they seen “Look, I don’t care. I don’t care if it’s Shaq’s song: if that’s what’s gonna sell, if that’s what’s gonna get the people noticing what’s going on, then that’s what we’re going to do.” Once they realized that’s the energy we’re going to give, they put it all out. Everybody was honest about what they thought should go first, second, last. That’s how the project ended up coming out the way it did.
AllHipHop: Favorite songs on the project and why?
Littlejohn4K: “Where I Come From,” “Only Fanz”, “Ain’t Been the Same.” Them my top 3.
Hotboy Shaq: My top 3 are “Ain’t Been the Same,” “Only Fanz”, and “Bad By Myself.” Them my favorite right there.
ZayTheGOAT: My top 3 is “Ain’t Been the Same”, “Stressing,” and it’s either “Bad By Myself” or “Moving Too Fast.”
Littlejohn4k: Yeah I was about to say Zay, “Moving Too Fast.” Tianis got them songs that’ll make you call your ex from 7th grade, like “Look, you did me wrong.”>
AllHipHop: Why do you guys all like “Ain’t Been The Same”?
Littlejohn4k: That’s one of them thangs.
Hotboy Shaq: If you’re really going through something in your life, you might feel like in your head it ain’t been the same in a long time for anything. When I made that, I ain’t really sung on a track. That was my first ever vibing that different type of vibe. Ever since then, I love it!
Littlejohn4K: If you know the background to the music, you have two real street dudes and they both put pain on the song. In the first lyric of the song: “Hope you be there like I’m there for you.” That’s one of them songs, it’s nothing but captions in it. It’s nothing but quotes in that song. Everybody got somebody they’re like “Man, I’m doing all this for you and you’re not even returning the love.”
AllHipHop: The last song is “We Outside.” How does it feel to be outside?
Hotboy Shaq: Yeah that song “We Outside,” they still love that song. That song two years old, but they still love it. It’s something people can relate to because they had us stuck in the house forever.
AllHipHop: How did you all meet King Carter?
Littlejohn4K: Man, I met Carter at his birthday dinner. Zay took me. Y’all gotta understand what me and Zay were at this time in our careers. Zay was so determined for Social Currency signing me that he’d be taking me to random stuff. One day, he told me “It’s my dad birthday, do you want to go to his dinner with me?” I’m thinking there’s going to be a bunch of people at the dinner or whatever. We get there, it’s Carter, his wife, and Zay. I’m like “Oh my God, this man Zay is crazy.”
[Tianis enters the Zoom]
AllHipHop: What does it mean to be part of Full House? What did you contribute to the project?
Tianis: It’s an honor to be on the album with the best artists besides myself in the world right now. There’s a whole lot of family business going on. God willing, I hope this project does everything it’s gonna do.
AllHipHop: How did you meet King Carter?
Tianis: I met him through Instagram, he reached out to me after I dropped my first album. He hit me up and said “You’re dope.” At the time, I didn’t even know who he was. When I found out, “Oh snap! This is DaBaby’s manager.” I had to reach out to him and let him know “This is what I’m trying to do. I’m passionate about my craft.” He pulled up on me at the studio and I got signed.
AllHipHop: Just like that?
Tianis: Just like that. [laughs] It took a year for me to get him to come pull up to the studio though, because he was so busy with DaBaby. This was around the time that DaBaby had started blowing up. He’s so busy with DaBaby’s stuff that every time I’d say “Hey, pull up on me,” he was so busy with everything else going on. It took us a year to finally get him to come to the studio but when he did, it happened.
AllHipHop: What about you Shaq?
Hotboy Shaq: I really was grinding for a long time. I really met him through DaBaby for real, before I even dealt with Social Currency. I was on Baby Jesus & Friends show, working the concerts he had. I was always there so I’d always run into Carter. One day, Zay really introduced me to the whole team. Carter always told me: “I’ma come get you bro, we’re gonna do this.” Because he had already seen me working, I’ve been grinding for a long time and bro understood it. He noticed that, he always was f###### with me. It’s always been genuine. When I signed to Social Currency it was all love for real, we been had it planned out.
AllHipHop: What do each of you want people to take away from this project?
Tianis: I want them to take away the fact that we have four individual, unique artists. We each have a sound that’s completely different, there’s something in there for everyone. We’re very versatile and that’s the truth. Being able to be on an album together, it’s going to bring different types of people together, as well as different types of artists.
AllHipHop: Tianis, how does it feel to be navigating pregnancy while working on the album?
Tianis: Whew, it’s not easy at all. I definitely feel it only motivated me more to go harder. Now, it’s not just my dream and because I want to do this thing. This is what I love to do but now my son’s looking up to me, too. That’s something I want my son to see when he grows up. “Damn, my mom chased her dreams. She accomplished everything she wanted to in life, I can do the same thing.” Same thing I want other people to take from it, too. Especially women in the industry, people think “Oh once you get pregnant, it’s the end of the story. It’s the end of the world.” That’s how society views it. I don’t want people to view females like that, especially in this type of career we’re in. I want people to feel empowered. “Yeah she just had a baby, but she’s still grinding. She’s still working, it ain’t stop nothing.”
AllHipHop: Littlejohn4k, talk about being a voice for the LGBTQ community.
Littlejohn4k: It’s cool. I don’t really think I’m just a voice for them, though. I’m a voice for a lot of people. I try to speak from both standpoints: female, male, cat, dog, whoever can relate to what I’m going through. As far as being a part of the LGBTQ community, it’s cool. I am who I am and I stand on who I am. I don’t ever let nobody take me out of that content or that character. As far as the music tying into it, it’s full circle.That’s a good question. I’m going to have to sit down and really think about it. Wow, I guess I am the voice right now for us.
AllHipHop: Zay, how has fatherhood shaped your perspective and your outlook on life?
ZayTheGOAT: Fatherhood has changed my perspective a lot. I don’t think about myself anymore. Every time I get some money, I be thinking about how much is going to my kids and how much I’ma keep for myself. Every time I’m eating, I think “Dang, I want that for my kids.” Or “What am I going to feed my kids today?” Every time I think about something I’m finna do, I think about my kids as well. I know I don’t think about myself anymore. It definitely helped me grow out of a lot of things that made me realize how to be a man, because now time is money. Even though it’s always been money, you value it a little bit more when you have children. The tour, I’m so ready for it right now. I pray more than I ever have before. I’ve rehearsed more than I ever have before. I’ve worked out more than I ever have before.
AllHipHop: What does it mean to be opening for Toosii on tour?
ZayTheGOAT: I appreciate Toosii for one, first and foremost. My bro, for hopping on the record and getting ready to do a video with me. And putting me on his tour, that means a lot. That’s big love. Especially since he comes from Carolina, that means a lot. I know for a full-blown fact also, with all due respect for him, I plan on making this s### my tour. That’s how hard I’m going. I plan on putting on a show every time, and not the same one. Every time I’m captivating the audience in a different way and they gon’ gravitate towards me.
AllHipHop: Shaq, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an artist coming out of Charlotte? You’ve been rapping the longest out of everyone.
Hotboy Shaq: Really, you’ve got to take this serious. You can’t play with it, be half in it or part-time in it. That’s why I love my team so much. We might argue and fight or whatever, but we push each other to go harder because we really believe in each other. It always made me realize I may have been bullshitting a lot growing up trying to do this, but now it’s all or nothing. I want to go harder every time to show people looking up to me you’ve got to put your all in no matter what it is, you’ve got to go hard.
You’ve got to eat, sleep, g###### think this s### everyday. It’s gotta be your job because if not, you’re never going to get where you want to be in life. As me growing up, me being the artist I am today, I had to keep going. It shows me because I used to be in a group and I was the weakest link in the group. I couldn’t rap at all, I didn’t know how to rap nothing. But out of the whole group, I’m the one who’s farther than everybody. That’s crazy. It made me realize if you keep going hard, you keep doing it how you been doing it, you’re going to get everything you want. It might take time. Some people think “yeah Shaq’s been doing this for years.” So what? I’ve been grinding and I’ve done seen my efforts from it. I’ve gained a lot of stuff from it, but you’ve gotta keep going.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let us know?
All: Full House out right now. Go get that, ASAP.
Littlejohn4K: Tell yo grannys!