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.
Selena Gomez: "Cut You Off"
Selena Gomez's new album Rare is a raw and real reflection of her life over the last several years, from her health struggles to her tumultuous love life. "Cut You Off," in particular, will spark questions among fans about her past relationship with pop star Justin Bieber. "I might as well just tell you while I'm drunk," she sings over a low, groovy beat. "The truth is that I think I've had enough."
At its core, the song is an ode to a relationship that she should've given up on long before she ever did. "Gotta chop chop all the extra weight / I've been carrying for 1,460 days," she sings in the very first verse, making it clear that after four years, it was time to leave the toxicity and move forward. And now that it's all behind her, even she can't believe that she ever got caught up in a such a mess. "Professionally messing with my trust," she sings in utter disbelief. "How could I confuse that shit for love?" —Jordyn Tilchen
Pallavi's proud Fijian heritage shines through on "Identity," where she not only explores its culture and struggles but also establishes her own identity that simultaneously exists inside and out of it. It's a clever feint; the production is the kind of trap beat that Waka Flocka might scream over. If you're zoning out, you'd think that she's initially showering herself with compliments, something that rap has practically built itself on. But Pallavi brings tremendous amounts of personality and detail to the beat, making it one of the most unique tunes you'll hear. "Always trying to define, but I'm my own identity," is the heaviest line, giving her the space to exist in multiple circles. In the sleek and stylish accompanying video, Pallavi's surrounded by women representing resilience and faith. The striking scenery reiterates the song's powerful message: Your identity and culture are more powerful than you know. —Trey Alston
Celeste: "Stop This Flame"
"Tell me to stop but I keep on going" is exactly the kind of energy we should all be bringing into the new year. Cue "Stop This Flame," the latest from Celeste, who released her piano-driven stomper after being crowned the winner of BBC Music’s prestigious Sound of 2020 poll. The British soul singer channels Adele and Nina Simone here, belting about her unflinching love for some person or some dream. She said in a statement that "Stop This Flame" is "a song about seeing it through to the end," and that's precisely what you'll want to do after these euphoric three and a half minutes. —Madeline Roth
Caroline Rose: "Feel The Way I Want"
After releasing two quiet folk records, Caroline Rose shocked everyone with the slickly produced, infectious pop of 2018's Loner. The album completely opened up Rose to a brand-new audience, which also meant relentless touring and coming to terms with a modicum of indie rock popularity. Her forthcoming follow-up, Superstar, copes with these unfamiliar feelings by leaning even more into the glittery, cinematic pop of its predecessor, and its lead single, "Feel the Way I Want," is a danceable tribute to the over-the-top, often oblivious nouveau famous. "They’re kind of like a walking eye roll who's easy to dismiss," Rose says. "But at the same time you admire their determination. It's the Kanye effect." Superstar is out March 6. —Bob Marshall
The Orphan The Poet: "Queen Cobra"
If you're gonna be a snake, you might as well be a cobra, and if you're gonna be a cobra, you might as well be the queen. With "Queen Cobra," Ohio alt-rock trio The Orphan The Poet lament over a femme fatale with a venomous edge, alongside trippy visuals and French zingers. With a bassline that is positively pulling and a chorus that sonically soars, it's a three-minute ride you'll want to repeat over and over again. Here's the missing piece to fill your foot-tapping void — bonus points for making millennial colloquialisms like "hot take" sound so casually cool. —Carson Mlnarik
When I listen to "Chances," I hear someone thankful to be alive. 10KDunkin's probably been through a lot, and you can hear his apprehensiveness to speak in the way that he raps at a barely registering whisper, almost getting lost in the rumbling bass drums. But in this roughness, there's magic. 10KDunkin rolls over the beat as he continuously thanks God for letting him make it to where he is today. This mix of religious faith and the streets feels fresher than normal, perhaps because of his voice and his unhinged and unpredictable flow. I can't tell if I love it because of its ramshackle sound or because I can feel every single thing that he's saying in my bones. —Trey Alston
bbno$ & Y2K ft. Enrique Iglesias and Carly Rae Jepsen: "Lalala (Remix)"
I'm probably one of the last people on the planet to have discovered this song, but now that I have, I can't get it out of my head. What really seals the deal for me is Carly Rae reminding me that she "always sells out the show." Yes you do, queen! Here, bbno$ (pronounced "baby no money") and Y2K have taken an already slinky ear worm and has transformed it into a deviously catchy remix that incorporates Enrique's breathy vocals and finds Carly at her cockiest. What's not to love? I may be late to the party, but that doesn't make this banger any less of a certified bop. —Brittany Vincent