Takeover Studios—a lesser known component of J. Prince’s famed Rap-A-Lot Records—has recorded Houston legends, including the Geto Boys, Paul Wall, UGK, and Screwed Up Click. Since 2017, Prince has entrusted the studio to Rudy Alexander, a young producer who hopes to follow in his mentor’s footsteps and deliver the next generation of Houston stars.
As Takeover’s CEO, Alexander oversees the studio and has a larger mandate to scout talent for Rap-A-Lot. Recently, Alexander recruited all-new artists, and the collective has developed a new mixtape, Takeover Vol. 1.
“That album was being done for the past year and a half. I had a lot of records that were just sitting,” he explains. “My plan is to continue to put out records to keep the momentum going.”
The project, released in July, features debuts from artists who are either signed or affiliated with Rap-A-Lot, including Chris Bacon, Falcon the God, Guapo, YB Puerto Rico, and more. According to Alexander, the project has already earned more than 6,000 streams on Datpiff, an online music platform, and a little over 3,000 downloads on Da Mix Hub, another hip-hop site.
The album’s so-called “new hip-hop” sound is upbeat and fun, infused with drug-related lyrics. On Ghost Magneto’s “Fucc Up the City,” he raps “Pop a perky, it kills all the pain, all this codeine inside of my veins.” Another verse on Falcon The God’s “How I Feel” explores his rise to fame, with “I used to get it how I live, used to be skipping meals out the crib, now I don’t need no help we getting mills.” Sonically, the project plays with the trendy trap music formula of hip-hop practiced by artists like Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert, but still manages to have its own unique style.
“The vibe in the studio creating the album was so dope. The initial response from the album I expected, I was overwhelmed with it,” Alexander says. “The album is an emotional rollercoaster; the whole goal was to make listeners feel something.”
It’s a continuation of Rap-A-Lot’s belief that despite an immense amount of talent, the Third Coast is ignored by record execs and DJs. Founded in 1986, Rap-A-Lot made Houston a city for music, specifically hip-hop, with a signature sound that was dirty, gritty, and most of all real. Takeover’s goal is to bring that same vibe and camaraderie back to the city; Alexander hopes the studio becomes a “hip-hop staple” once more. “I want Houston to be back where it was in 2005,” he says of the era when local artists like Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Chamillionaire ruled the radio.
“We want to show the city, and the world, that we got some talent out here,” he says. “We’ve got some of the biggest and best talents, period. I’ll bet my last dollar on our roster.”