Intrinzik
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Intrinzik

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"In Like Intrinzik"

By Serene Dominic

If the Rev. Al Sharpton's promised crackdown on racially charged rap music expands beyond one perfunctory march in a parade, he'll probably go after juggalos for being white. At any rate, he'd have a hard time trying to pin anything off-color on Intrinzik (aka Will Glass), a Phoenix rapper who from his earliest album steered clear of hip-hop clichés like bragging about rims and calling women hoes. His new single, the ironically titled "Dead or Alive," features Proof's last recorded performance.



Coming in through the rap-rock backdoor, Intrinzik's spits have always been a tad confessional. He fesses up to everything from once being "a mullet-headed Jew with braces, zits and a fat man's tits" to not quite reaching platinum-selling status. On "My Favorite Song" (off My Favorite Album, Intrinzik's recently released five-year retrospective), he raps, "This song is number zero, I'm way off the charts," knowing that underground-indie rap fans have his back. In contrast, if a mainstream rapper were to divulge such, he/she might as well apply for the night manager job at Wendy's.



"I like sticking to my lyrics," Intrinzik says, days before embarking on his first completely DIY tour with Colorado's Axe Murder Boyz (who, you'll note, are no longer on the Motor City's Psychopathic Records).



Intrinzik continues: "Everything I say is true, I say 'I keep it 99 percent accurate' on one of the songs on the album."



Even the mullet and braces bit?



"Yep," he nods. "When I was a kid, I liked the metal thing and the rap thing. I was always wearing Jordan stuff with a Metallica shirt. On one of my songs I say 'platinum plaques on my third release.' If I don't think it's going to go platinum, I'm not gonna do it."



Given his penchant for full disclosure, Intrinzik had no problem early on exposing all the smoke and mirrors involved in maintaining the facade of a player — everything from renting bling and babes for videos, to buying rhymes to rapping off cue cards and the ironic "belief" in his own hype. If Donald Trump could've free-styled The Art of the Deal, it wouldn't be altogether different from Intrinzik's second album Tricks of the Trade.



In five short years, Intrinzik learned enough tricks to become a full-on hip-hop mogul too. His INK Records roster includes such like-minded artists as McNastee, Jason Porter and Virus.



Marc Kempf of Long Range — which distributes INK Records' nationally, and is located right here in Detroit — says Intrinzik is well beyond a "local phenomenon. He has fans in every state. And his fan base keeps growing and reaching back for his older albums. That in itself is a success."



But better still — Intrinzik's actually big in Japan. Listen to Tomohiko Sasaki, the kind gentleman who runs a rap-rock label in Tokyo called RB Records.



He explains, with an apology for his broken English, why he signed a Valley of the Sun rapper to a Land of the Rising Sun label: "We had interesting to his crossover minds."



Translation: Rap with distorted guitars equals big crossover sales in Japan.



RB Records imported Intrinzik's earlier records by the rap-rock group he started out with, Fallguy, and sold 3,000 copies just as an import. My Favorite Album marks the first time RB Records will be actually distributing an Intrinzik INK release. To make the album more rap-rock friendly for the Japanese, they asked for more morose cover art and resequenced the album so most of the Fallguy stuff would come first.



"Japan is just catching now on to rap rock so right now all the local bands there — I don't want to say they're Limp Bizkit wannabees — but they're all in that mode," Intrinzik says. "So it works out great for me. I still have love for what Fallguy was doing and the underground kids in the U.S. still love it."



Intrinzik's next release will be a new Fallguy album in early 2008. As for taking special pains to market a music that is perceived as passé in the States, Intrinzik the label rep is unfazed. "This isn't mainstream music so there's still a big market for rap metal. It's just not on the radio all the time. All the major labels aren't pushing it out. Fallguy and my label has their own core following. So I'm not talking about millions of units I'm talking thousands. It'll be pretty good."



It's no wonder Intrinzik exhibits none of the vainglorious round-the-clock boasting that most rappers cling to like a security blanket. Record stores in Japan have Intrinzik endcaps. People pay for him to produce them or guest on their records, and he has a bankable indie name. But shouldn't it be a little bit daunting coming to Detroit for the first time?



"Obviously, because the whole juggalo thing started in Michigan," Intrinzik says, "but the turn out there should be pretty strong. The promoters have got good local openers, my distributor Long Range is based in Detroit so my stuff's already in a lot of the stores and moving out of there. And 89.3 FM The Zone is playing 'Dead or Alive,' the song with Proof on it." Unless Proof turns out to be as prolific in death as Tupac, the last recording you'll hear of the fallen rapper is this one recorded with Intrinzik in Phoenix two weeks before his violent death.



In running a label, Intrizik has a simple philosophy "At my level, with no radio or MTV — just get the music out there, make the cover nice like a major release, make a little noise and make your money back. All these distribution companies want you to put $5,000 or $10,000 in promotion, and by the time you're done with it, you've got to sell 3,000 records to break even. I sell 1,000 records by myself and make $8,000. And for advertising, I don't put anything in marketing. You can pay a magazine $800 for a half-page a and you're not gonna see it. I do everything over the Internet."



Early on, Intrinzik built a loyal fanbase touring with Detroit's Twizted, where he also met Colorado's Axe Murder Boyz, who are now also promoting an anthology of sorts with Cut and Stitched, a compilation of remixes and tracks that didn't make the Psychopathic album.



"We earned the respect and loyalty of those kids," Intrinzik says. "I'm still living off that tour four years ago, still building the fans and keeping it going."



But the game needs considerable stake-raising at all times, particularly in the era of MySpace. Intrinzik agrees.



"This MySpace thing is fucking people's heads," he laughs. "People think, 'I have a song on MySpace, I'm a rapper now.' Back in the old days you couldn't record a song in your bedroom; you had to go to a recording studio and buy those big fat tapes. There was no Internet for distributing music. It's just silly now. For me, this is how I dress. I don't talk like I'm black. But some of these new up and comers, is that who you really are? A pimp? When your mommy's yelling at you, are you like 'Fuck you, bitch' or do you go to your room for five minutes?" - Detroit Metro Times


"Rapped & Tagged: Intrinzik - Fallguy: Resurrection (Musick Review)"

A mean album from the get-go, RESSURE6†7ON’s hard hitting bass, gruesome guitar riffs, violent overtones and aggressive, unforgiving lyricism make for a unique and memorable experience. Intrinzik’s in-your-face, rap-meets-metal vocals mesh well with the punchy tunes pumped out by the impressive live band Fallguy. But what’s really interesting, and what helps make RESURRE6†7ON a complete, enjoyable, diverse album is the willingness to embrace the foreign. When things get too fast, Intrinzik and Fallguy slow it down. When the intensity lulls, Fallguy kicks you in the nuts with some nasty licks while Intrinzik chops you in the throat with brutal, energetic rhymes. The vocals never fall flat, and an assortment of guest vocalists (not Intrinzik alone) deserve credit for helping make that rare feat possible. In the end, it is really all about Intrinzik however, as he never seems to take the backseat to anyone; from Virus to Proof, McNastee to Big Slack, the man refuses to dwell in the background.



RESSURE6†7ON is the fourth album Intrinzik has released in four years, and boasts the strongest production I’ve heard (yet) from the Arizona native and his admirable band Fallguy. There are some great, catchy tunes with infectious hooks, and warm guitar riffs that claim the power to really bring the listener back, time and again. A kick ass graphic package and free bonus CD (Underground Hustlin Volume IV) are really just extra Tequila in the Margarita. Keep an ear open for stand-out offerings “In The Middle”, “Live Fast Die Young”, “Path Of Destruction”, “Sick Of You”, “Long Way Home”, and “Flow Is Timeless”, which are all excellent songs by my personal standards. In an underappreciated, yet flooded market, RESSURE6†7ON is not just a relevant release, but a required acquisition. Buy it, open it, and play it - more than once.
- Fangoria


"Representin’ Phoenix: Intrinzik at Volume (SXSW)"

By Niki D'Andrea

Phoenix-based hip-hop artist Intrinzik is a consummate performer. Before Intrinzik took the stage at Volume, Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys jumped onstage and busted out a fierce freestyle rap that left the audience pumped up and delirious. It was a hard act to follow, but Intrinzik managed to pull it off.


Bushwick Bill gave a surprise performance before Intrinzik's set.

Joined onstage by his longtime friend and collaborator, Virus, Intrinzik soared through a 30-minute set of material, backed by hard beats and occasional rock guitar riffs. The duo jumped, pumped their fists, waved their hands, and walked through the crowd building camaraderie. The performance had been preceded by a set from Austin-based hip-hop group Kriminals, and Intrinzik and Virus gave them shout-outs and got the whole crew dancing.


Intrinzik rocks Volume.

Acclaimed underground Oklahoma rapper McNastee joined Intrinzik onstage for the last three songs, busting out some really nasty rhymes and encouraging some explicit call-and-response from the audience: “When I say pussy, you say lick! When I say dick, you say suck!”


McNastee joined Intrinzik onstage and got, well, nasty.


The last song of Intrinzik’s set was “My Favorite Song,” which he co-wrote with the late Proof of D12. He announced this before the song, and asked everyone who had love for Proof or had lost anyone to raise their lighters and cell phones high.


Intrinzik and Virus.

And everybody did. By the time Intrinzik left the stage, he’d clearly earned the respect of the crowd (and fellow MCs) inside the club.
- Phoenix New Times


"Big in Japan"

"People get caught up and lose everything they have trying to be famous. I like making safe, smart, calculated moves."

So says Will Glass, a.k.a. Intrinzik, during our sprawling discussion — and along the way, he'll also advocate keeping a day job, having something to fall back on, and being monetarily practical overall.

You probably don't expect such frugality, such pragmatism, from a rapper. But 28-year-old Intrinzik does a lot of things you might not expect. In five short years, he's gone from a hardcore punk drummer to a novice rap-rocker in a ski mask to an accomplished MC who can hold his own alongside such heavyweights as Cappadonna, the Phunk Junkeez, and the late Proof of D12, who recorded two appearances on Intrinzik's album just weeks before his murder. He's also become an underground rap mogul with his Intrinz INK record label.

Intrinzik's five years of rap 'n' grind are conveniently collected for posterity on his new CD/DVD career retrospective My Favorite Album, released on October 31, the same day everyone's least favorite album, Kevin Federline's Playing With Fire, hit the streets and the streets hit back. When the smoke clears, both will have probably sold somewhere in the 8,000 to 10,000 range, but one will be considered a dismal flop while the other will be deemed an underground success. And while Intrinzik is too smart to get caught making dumb-ass K-Fed claims like "The world is mine," he may already have a part of the world in his back pocket.

That's right. Intrinzik's big in Japan. Although he may not have name recognition with your average Tokyoite, Intrinzik's got a serious distribution deal there with RB Records, a sizable rap-rock label. Having already sold vast amounts of CDs by Intrinzik's old rap-rock group Fallguy, and Separated at Birth (his horrorcore side project), RB is now giving the Intrinzik brand name a push.

While rap-rock is considered old hat worn backward in the U.S., Intrinzik notes, "Japan is just getting into it now. A lot of the local bands there are in that Limp Bizkit mode. So it works out great for me. . . . But the U.S. is a hard market; people download music. In Japan, it's all about the culture — people want the album, the artwork, they support the artist back in the States."

No matter what the sales figures are in his hometown for My Favorite Album(currently he estimates it's sold between 800 and 900 copies), Intrinzik knows it's going to sell 10 times that amount in Japan.

To promote My Favorite Album, RB has already installed Intrinzik endcaps and listening booths in many Japanese record retailers, giving the kind of in-store promotion that is unheard of here in this country unless you're Mariah Carey or Joe Schmo with megabucks to waste.

"With this record, I could've been in Best Buy or got a listening booth. All these distribution companies want you to put $5,000 or $10,000 in promotion, and by the time you're done with it, you've got to sell 3,000 records to break even," Intrinzik says. "I sell 1,000 records by myself and make $8,000. Same with touring. To open up for the Kottonmouth Kings, you might pay 10 grand. Just to get on the bill. I've got bills to pay. So instead, I'm all over iTunes and selling online downloads. At my level, with no radio or MTV — just get the music out there, make a little noise, and make your money back."

The growing Intrinz INK recording roster is one way the rapper keeps his profile up in other states. He's got McNastee representing Intrinz INK in Lawton, Oklahoma, and Jason Porter in Los Angeles, with other future potentials including Big Slack (Oklahoma City), Menacide (Grand Rapids, Michigan), and Fury (Bristol, Connecticut).

"We're all friends, and when I have a flier, I'll put an ad for McNastee's album on the other side and we all do cross-promotion that way," Intrinzik says. "Whatever I'm doing for them in my city, they're doing for me in theirs. Or else we'll broker beats or sell verses for each other and split the money."

Clay Conner, a.k.a. Big Slack from Oklahoma City, is another rapper who could be the next link in the expanding Intrinz INK chain. "I had always heard about Intrinzik through message boards and underground music Web sites," Conner says. "However, Intrinzik really came onto my 'radar' when I heard about McNastee in Lawton, Oklahoma. After doing a handful of shows with McNastee [with Intrinzik in attendance for a couple], he expressed interest in releasing my mix tape, Pick Up the Slack Vol. 1, and also my first official solo album."

Oklahoma City's rap scene, Slack says, "is basically nonexistent. People here just don't want or aren't ready to buy tickets to hip-hop shows and CDs from up-and-coming artists. So the situation at Intrinz INK is really good for me, since a number of the sales come from the Internet and people in other markets who are willing to buy underground music and come see underground hip-hop shows."

With an eye to the immediate future, Intrinzik is currently recording a brand-new Fallguy record specifically for the Japanese market and producing a hip-hop album by a 50-year-old homeless guy he discovered outside of Circle K called Shep Dog. Intrinzik set up Shep in a condo his previous renters trashed, and Shep is doing home improvement work on the place while recording what could be a rap first — a been-there-done-that-buy-me-a-beer pimp. "He raps 1992 shit," Intrinzik says. "He sounds like a more aggressive Eazy-E. It's probably the raddest thing I've ever been involved with."

What about the follow-up to Intrinzik's second solo album, Tricks of the Trade, in which he revealed every shell game his platinum peers were up to, from renting bling and ho's for videos, to buying rhymes, to rapping off cue cards? We may have to wait a while, since Intrinzik is true to every word he spits, even in jest, and he's unique in his knack for lowering expectations, too, with claims like "You're gonna hate this song," "My verses need work, they're the worst on the street," and "This song is number zero, it's off the charts." Who else disses himself on his own record before a hater can? And in the process, delivers a great record?

Kevin Cox
Intrinzik, the sensible mini-mogul.
Where:
Coyote Hill in Glendale
Details:
Scheduled to perform at the New Year's Eve Party on Sunday, December 31
Subject(s):
Intrinzik, Phunk JunkeezYet Intrinzik takes what he says very seriously. "On one of my songs, I say, 'Platinum plaques on my third release.' If I don't think it's going to go platinum, I'm not gonna do it. I'm gonna find my way around it," he says.

Doing a greatest hits, which doesn't count, was one way. He also plans to release Intrinzik singles every couple of months online, and when he has 74 minutes, he'll design a three-inch album cover and put it up on iTunes as a digital-only album.

"Record stores are done. Kids going to high school have all got iPods and everything is already moving away from CDs, so why fight it?" Intrinzik says sadly. For a musician who grew up hanging around in record stores, trading in his punk CDs to get the new rap CDs and reversing the process when he missed having the old punk CDs, this particular passing of the torch is a bitter pill to swallow.

"Sure, I'll miss doing the elaborate packaging. But kids in this country don't give a shit about that," he muses before brightening again. "But as a record label owner, my job has just gotten even easier. So do I want to run three miles and lose 10 pounds, or do I want to walk a mile and lose eight pounds?"

We'll wait while you do the math.

- Phoenix New Times


Discography

Double U I Double L (LP)
Tricks of the Trade (LP)
My Favorite Album (CD/DVD)
My Favorite Album (Japan)
Fallguy: Resurrection

Photos

Bio

The Number One Hustla in the Underground

Intrinzik has his hand in pretty much every aspect of the Underground Rap genre known as “Horrorcore,” or “the Wicked Underground.”

As a recording artist/performer, Intrinzik has been doing shows all across the USA both as opening support for national artists such as Tech N9ne, Insane Clown Posse, and Wu Tang Clan, as well as headlining in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ and other US markets. INT has also performed at 3 SXSW Music Conferences both as a solo artist and with his band Fallguy, opening the Psychopathic Records and Strange Music showcases. His live performance, containing his Intrinz INK labelmates Virus, McNastee and J-Kriss is often refered to by fans as “the only other good act besides the headliner.” Working in conjunction with southwest heavywieght Luckyman Concerts, INT has helped push tickets to shows he performs on in excess of $100,000 in 2 years of work. His discography is currently expanding and his latest effort, Fallguy: Resurrection is distributed in the USA via to Long Range Distribution and in Japan with RB Records. The album is his most epic release to date and features the late Proof of D12, Jason Cruz of Strung Out, Big B and many other national acts Intrinzik has crossed paths with. INT was also featured on Psychopathic Record’s “Tunnel Runners” CD, a collection of 13 of the genre’s most promising names, which debuted #21 on Billboard’s rap charts in August of 2008.

As Businessman, Intrinzik has created one of the most lucritive franchises in the genre, Underground Hustlin. This collection of business includes the UGH mixtape series that has spawned over 20 releases in less than 2 years and has featured guest artist and hosts such as porn legend Ron Jeremy, Tech N9ne, Twiztid, Bone Thugs and many more. UGH offers up-and-coming underground artist the chance to feature their music along side household names for a fee in return for hard copies to distribute. The series has replicted itself 60,000 times by pressing 3,000 units per volume. Along with UGH, Intrinzik heads the artist services umbrella that offers CD replication, beat produciton, graphic design, marketing, audio engineering and more. Intrinzik’s reputation has gained the trust of countless artists looking to “get their hustle on.”

In just 6 short years in the game, Intrinzik has achieved more than most rap artists have in their entire careers. INT is always taking his music to the next level and his business to the next opportunity in an ever changing industry landscape. This is just the beginning…

Links:

www.myspace.com/intrinzik (60,000 friends)

www.myspace.com/undergroundhustlin (70,000 friends)