Big in Japan

Tempe rapper Intrinzik's journey from the Valley of the Sun to the Land of the Rising Sun

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?

Yet 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.

Intrinzik, the sensible mini-mogul.
Kevin Cox
Intrinzik, the sensible mini-mogul.


Scheduled to perform at the New Year's Eve Party on Sunday, December 31
Coyote Hill in Glendale

"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.

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