The search for the ever-elusive "bop" is difficult. Playlists and streaming-service recommendations can only do so much. They often leave a lingering question: Are these songs really good, or are they just new?
Enter Bop Shop, a hand-picked selection of songs from the MTV News team. This weekly collection doesn't discriminate by genre and can include anything — it's a snapshot of what's on our minds and what sounds good. We'll keep it fresh with the latest music, but expect a few oldies (but goodies) every once in a while, too. Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.
Kevin Abstract: "Baby Boy"
More than a year after Brockhampton teased a new track with a cryptic, Jaden Smith-starring video titled "Let's Get Married," the completed song has finally dropped, and it was worth the wait. "Baby Boy," credited to Brockhampton's Kevin Abstract, is a bouncy dose of R&B lovesickness driven by a moody, muted electric guitar. The song's slow crescendo and soulful vocals showcase Abstract's songwriting chops, the end result as empowering in its sincerity as it is heartbreaking. —Bob Marshall
"When I dream of dying, I never feel so loved."
SHAED's unique brand of electronica is like being enveloped in a warm blanket, even though its lyrics are far from comforting, painting a picture of jumping on a trampoline and then suddenly bursting into flames after the trees catch on fire. In another verse, the song illustrates falling into a stream and essentially drowning.
There's something hypnotic about the tune as it presents its macabre verses with a singsong lilt, like dreaming of dying is something we all do on a day-to-day basis. Its surreal undertones give it a sinister feeling that lifts as soon as the chorus hits. It's sublime, rapturous, and fills you with hope somehow. The accompanying music video has the same ethereal quality that gives you an unfamiliar, strange feeling – and it's one I love to envelop me, time and time again. —Brittany Vincent
NCT 127: "End to Start"
Being a fan of NCT 127 is stressful. Just when you think you've figured this K-pop group out, the 10-member unit surprises you with something truly unexpected. That's "End to Start," the moody closer of their latest Japanese album, Awaken. It stands out because it's unlike any other song in their global discography. NCT 127 is a group known for their anthemic, bass-heavy bops ("Cherry Bomb," "Simon Says") and in-your-face bravado, but "End to Start" is an ethereal track that strikes a dark harmony between their stacked vocal lineup and their charismatic rappers. Rapper Mark, in particular, flexes his vocal chops and showcases a mesmerizingly melodic flow that I hope we hear more of on future tracks.
The song itself is a declaration of a new beginning, as the group sings that they're “ready for a new flight / time for slayin.’” It cleverly hints at an exciting new chapter for the group as they embark on the U.S. leg of their Neo City world tour this spring and get ready to promote their forthcoming Korean EP, We Are Superhuman, in May. (Another major flex: They debuted the album's pulsing title track on Good Morning America this week.) So it's only appropriate that "End to Start" closes with a quietly commanding refrain: "The origin will begin." And I'm ready and waiting. —Crystal Bell
“Repeat” is a success, largely because Kenny Beats is behind the switches. The beat sounds like it was cobbled together out of different sized tin pans found in a heap of trash. But even if it's rough and scratched, it has a certain polish to it that makes it chuckle-worthy and theatrical. Smokepurpp, long a rapper of simplistic tastes choosing easy metaphors and rhyme patterns, realizes that he has to rise to the occasion, that this dragon of an unorthodox producer egg will hatch and devour him whole if he doesn’t take it seriously. Thankfully, he does.
What’s coming out of Smokepurpp’s mouth isn’t what makes this is a novelty: It’s how it’s delivered. The rapper’s Tasmanian Devil-like flow is a step up from the lax, codeine-inspired style of his earlier days. There’s a practiced technical prowess here that makes it feel like an authentic evolution, that there’s something to show he’s more than a flash in the pan. —Trey Alston
Amyl and The Sniffers: "Got You"
Less of a bop and more of a soundtrack for vengefully pillaging your rivals' towns, "Got You" is a hell of an introduction to Australian punks Amyl and The Sniffers. Despite their propensity for fuzzy energy, the quartet began not in the garage, but as a bedroom recording project helmed by singer Amy Taylor. She's said "Got You" captures "that feeling you get when you first start seeing someone and you're excited to see them, no matter what shit they got." So, what shit do you got? Listen and find out. —Patrick Hosken
Aly & AJ: "Church"
I know what you’re thinking: Aly & AJ are back? But I’ve got a newsflash: They’ve been back. The musical sibling duo ruled Disney Channel in the early 2000s and returned after a decade with last year’s appropriately titled Ten Years. The two have always straddled the line between detailed lyricism and pop sensibility, but their latest single, “Church,” is a bold statement of electro-pop holiness. With a subtle beat and an opening line that won’t quit (“I do bad things for the sake of good times”), the two make a call for spiritual cleansing after too many nights of bad decisions. “I need redemption for sins I can’t mention,” they croon through vocoder effects and haunting loops, “I need a little church.” A hint of sensuality lingers through the song, prompting us to wonder if the two are truly in need of praise or a free-spirited bout on the dance floor. But when a song takes you this high, does it matter? —Carson Mlnarik