Sliding into place like distant puzzle pieces suddenly magnetized towards one another when easily within our reach, “gio mix” introduces a surreal ItsGiovannie in her new EP Money Talk, Vol. 2 that instantly tells us of the cerebral qualities this latest release from the acclaimed up and comer is going to be filled with. Minimalism is the name of the game in this track, as jagged elements form a fleeting melodicism as rich as it is emotionally loaded. It’s hard to make this much out of so little, but if you’re ItsGiovannie, the entire process sounds all too simple inside of a studio. 


“yad yad” picks up the tempo from where we leave off in “gio mix,” favoring more of an upbeat swing over the postmodern drone of the instrumentation we’re met with in the opening cut of Money Talk, Vol. 2. The vocal is clandestinely harmony-centric, but this doesn’t stop the beat from winning just as much of our affection as the melodic whimsy at the heart of the song would. There’s a lot less popping off in this piece than it would seem from a cosmetics perspective, but that might be the greatest charm of this disc – even when indulgence is a centerpiece, it’s never born of negative excesses. 

Complexities come into the fold as we get into the thrust of “who you do you,” and aside from the exotic integration of auto-tuned harmonics into the track, there’s nothing but pure, organic musicality to be enjoyed in this stunning crossover piece. The bones of the song make it ripe for a remix, but in the state it’s in it already has everything it needs to appeal to a clubby crowd as well as a casual pop fan looking for something a little steamier than the status quo would call for. 

“pulse riddim” might be the most intense arrangement included in Money Talk, Vol. 2, but even in its more aggressive moments, ItsGiovannie never sacrifices tonality just for the sake of fitting in with a mainstream pop model – the opposite, truth be told. The climax here feels like a perfect hybrid of Fugees and Die Antwoord, alluding to hybridity I would love for this artist to play with more in the future – if for no other reason than to see just how far she could push the premise of what she created in this specific song. 


Money Talk, Vol. 2 ends with a full-on nightclub thrasher in “over rated” that has the most radio-ready mix of any song on the disc, but its polish doesn’t overshadow the artistic depth of the material ahead of it in this tracklist by any measurement. From beginning to end, ItsGiovannie sounds like a natural-born superstar in Money Talk, Vol. 2, and if you weren’t already getting excited about her work, I think one peek at this collection of single-quality compositions is going to have you singing quite the different tune. ItsGiovannie has my endorsement, and if you’re into spirited progressive R&B and hip-hop’s more melodic, pop-oriented side, she’s likely going to win yours, too. 

Garth Thomas