Jamila Woods has earned a reputation as a talented, passionate artist, poet and social activist in her native Chicago and beyond. All three of those identities coalesced in divine fashion on her 2016 HEAVN album, which featured standout tracks like “LSD” with Chance The Rapper, “VRY BLK” featuring NoName, and “Holy,” which was also treated to one of the most memorable videos of 2017. She previously said of the track’s songwriting process: “I wrote ‘Holy’ to remind myself that my worth is not dependent on anyone or anything outside of me.” It seems like that mindset may have been the impetus behind “Giovanni,” her latest track that was in part inspired from iconic poet Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping” poem.
The video that she paired with the track opens with Mother Woods’ adage that, “if you really want something done — and done well — do it yourself.” With that prompt, Woods does her over a sonorous soundscape, singing self-affirmatory lyrics matched with empowering imagery of the women in her life. “Lately, I been on my Giovanni, tea and honey,” Woods vocalizes, letting us know that she’s feeling as liberated as ever. She’s doing so good that she’s trying her hand at directing, as “Giovanni” is the first visual she’s ever helmed the conception of. Hopefully, the emotive, vibrant video isn’t the last one she directs.