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.
Labrinth & Zendaya: "All for Us"
Anyone else still reeling from that intense Euphoria finale? The first season of HBO's gritty, controversial series came to a cliffhanger-heavy close on Sunday, and the final scene was a sight to behold: Zendaya's Rue relapses and breaks into a dreamlike dance. The surreal sequence was soundtracked by a new version of Labrinth's "All for Us," with Z taking lead vocals — which is a treat for anyone who missed her music ("Replay" stans, I see you!). "When it all comes down to it / I hope one of you come back to remind me of who I was / When I go disappear / Into that good night," Zendaya sings as her dead-eyed character gets lifted into the air by a mob of bodies. The song played a big role in Euphoria from the start of the season, and hearing it in full — buzzing bass, chanting vocals, marching band, and all — was a powerful end to an emotional season. —Madeline Roth
Dark & Handsome: Blood Orange ft. Toro y Moi
Move over “chill music.” Get out of here “lofi hip hop beats to relax/study to.” With each new project under his Blood Orange moniker, Dev Hynes continues to redefine how R&B and electronica can dance, intertwine and then fuse together to make us feel. Case-and-point: his new album, Angel’s Pulse, is a lesson in vibes, moods, thoughts, and lucidity.
“Dark & Handsome” starts off with ambient thoughts and drawn-out chords, giving way to Hynes’s smooth-as-butter vocal. He breaks the space with existential musings on where life has taken him, “Losin’ touch of everything I know / Prayin’ for my heart to turn to stone.” And synth-wave star Toro y Moi validates his fears only to dismiss them, spitting through distortion, “Don’t be actin’ dumb / Cookie’s gonna crumble / Wipin’ up the crumbs / I do this sh*t casual.” Falling to pieces never sounded so f*cking chill. – Carson Mlnarik
Grace Ives: "Icing On The Cake"
If you like to party without the hassle of leaving bed and actually going to a party, then Grace Ives's synth-pop banger "Icing on the Cake" is for you. After listening to this track, you too will wonder why there aren't more two-minute dance songs about anxiety, and then you'll probably listen to it again. After that, you should probably listen to Ives's recently released debut album 2nd, because it's pretty great. —Bob Marshall
The Score: "Stay"
Sometimes we all need a little reminder to stay true to ourselves, and L.A.-based rockers The Score gifted us this anthem to offer just that. According to the duo, it's their "most vulnerable song to date," about "not trying to change who you are." But it's not a song to wallow in your sadness to. It's about jumping up, screaming in the face of those who would ask you to change yourself to fit a certain mold, and defiantly refusing to alter even one minuscule part of who you are. And messaging aside, it's a banger you'll want to scream into your hairbrush after you step out of the shower. I've already been doing it almost daily. —Brittany Vincent
Lil B: "Rhode Island"
Before Lil B the Based God was obsessed with marker-on-foot pictures and reckless tweets, he was one of rap's most intriguing prospects. Hell, he was even a member of XXL's 2011 Freshman class alongside Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, and more. But because he'd clown around on one song and rap seriously with half-boiled punchlines on the next, you could never tell what you were going to get. Eventually, it seemed like he was only making music for the biggest Lil B fans out there. And yet years later, I find myself drawn to his latest release, "Rhode Island," one of the jokey tracks (I hope) that doesn't make a bit of sense. Lil B adds Auto-Tune this time to keep up with 2019 rap's melodic tendencies, and the results sound a little amateurish. But isn't that Lil B's whole appeal? There's something endearing about it — somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I'm that 17-year-old kid, doing the cooking dance with my friends while going through a playlist of his early music on YouTube. That guy would love this song. —Trey Alston
Mallrat (real name: Grace Shaw) aims right for the heart on the first single from her upcoming EP, Driving Music. "Charlie" is a slow-building declaration of unconditional love that exudes warmth, even when the Aussie singer opens up about complicated family relationships. "I just want coffee for breakfast / I just want warm cups of tea / I just might love you forever / I hope you warm up to me," the 20-year-old sings, unloading her innermost thoughts via characteristically quick-fire verses and sticky hooks. The real clincher here is that she named the song after her golden Labrador, and if that's not cute-as-fuck enough to make you hit play, I don't know what to tell you. —Madeline Roth
Big Sean: "Single Again"
I'm as relationshipped-up as can be, happily on the road to marriage with my beautiful girlfriend (who most likely will read this). But Big Sean's "Single Again" is the optimistic mindset I never had after breakups with past flings. While I always focused on the negative, Sean goes for happy and genuine and still gets cathartic. It's unlike his more brash, newly-single anthem, 2014's "I Don't Fuck With You." Instead, "Single Again" searches for answers in the recesses of Sean's memory, even acknowledging his earlier song as a state to not get caught up in. It's truly beautiful.
This is a song that teaches you what you can be scared to learn about yourself after a break-up. As a relationship progresses, your identity can become intertwined with the other person's; you may lose bits of yourself to your other half. Big Sean's message hits your soul because it's everything you may need to hear as you're reforming that complete picture of yourself. The fact that Sean's ex Jhené Aiko mirrors his vocals on the chorus is the icing on the cake. —Trey Alston