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. And this week, after two all-girl collaborations (Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé's "Savage (Remix)", Doja Cat and Nicki Minaj's "Say So") hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts for the first time in a single year, we toast the landmark moment by sharing some of our favorite team-ups by powerful ladies.
Get ready: The Bop Shop is now open for business.
Jessie Reyez ft. Normani and Kehlani: “Body Count (Remix)” (2018)
Reyez’s original track was already a triumphant response to the negative stereotypes that men often inflict on women who exercise their right to be perfectly natural sexual beings. Adding Kehlani’s spice to the remix sends it to another level, but Normani? Bars. “You think you made me?” she asks half of our worthless population. “You’re funny, you know that?... You were birthed by a woman / Show some fucking respect.” —Terron Moore
Eve ft. Gwen Stefani: “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” (2001)
In 2001, Gwen Stefani was still primarily known for fronting No Doubt. Though she’d sung on songs for Sublime, Prince, Moby, and others, she wasn’t yet widely known as a secret-weapon hook-delivery machine. But Eve changed that. “Let Me Blow Ya Mind,” which hit No. 2 in the United States and won the first-ever Best Rap/Sung Performance Grammy, is a minimal masterpiece. Dr. Dre co-authored the skeletal, creeping beat, the perfect platform for a swaggering Eve to start giving commands: “Yo, drop your glasses / Shake your asses.” Her endless star power was only magnified by Stefani, who returned the feature favor three years later on her own solo venture. —Patrick Hosken
Lil’ Kim ft. Angie Martinez, Da Brat, Left Eye, and Missy Elliott: “Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)” (1997)
Lil’ Kim’s “Not Tonight (Ladies Night Remix)” featuring The Voice of New York herself, Angie Martinez, Da Brat, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and Missy Elliott is the best girl’s night out (remember those!?) ever in under five minutes. With a beat that reminds — or perhaps encourages — that anywhere can be a dance floor, Missy’s rendition of the anthemic Kool and the Gang hook, and the raw verses that celebrate sisterhood as the women pass the mic, it sonically (and, if you count the cameo-filled music video, visually) encapsulates the magic, power, and fun that’s had when women get together. —Rya Backer
Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens: “Gone” (2019)
The music video for “Gone” dropped nearly a year ago, but each viewing still makes my little gay heart skip a beat. The track makes the most of Charli XCX and Christine and the Queens’s pop chops, pairing a synth-heavy, dance-friendly backing track with emotionally charged vocals from the chart-topping British artist and her queer indie-pop collaborator. (Christine even flexes her French in the bridge, elevating an otherwise solid song to a different level.) Charli doesn’t just say “gay rights”; with this sensual collab and its dripping-wet visuals, she is gay rights. Comment dit-on “we have to stan”? —Sam Manzella
Taylor Swift ft. Colbie Caillat: “Breathe”
One day, I will tell my grandchildren about the powerful implications a track featuring songwriting powerhouses Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat had in 2008. Taylor was recording her sophomore album Fearless after selling over 7 million copies of her debut, and Colbie scored a hit with debut single “Bubbly” the year before. Their collaboration marked the coming together of two of pop’s rising female songwriters who were each doing things their own ways, with folk and country sensibilities. Swift bumps Caillat’s backing vocals way up as she sprinkles her voice throughout the track, but the real kicker is when Colbie comes in with a chorus of apologies at the close. Considering the ballad is an ode to a friendship lost, the moment feels particularly raw and vulnerable. Perhaps that’s why Tay never performed the track live until 2018. —Carson Mlnarik
Julia Michaels ft. Selena Gomez : “Anxiety”
Julia Michaels has always been known for her candid, thoughtful, sometimes heart-breaking lyrics, but never have us listeners had a more voyeuristic look into an artist’s head as we do with “Anxiety,” a song about struggling with mental health that Michaels wrote and performed with Selena Gomez. Though the song details the inner workings of living through anxiety, the idea of two women singing openly about a shared experience is truly empowering, even uplifting at times, as their airy, alternating vocals complement each other effortlessly. It’s refreshing to see a collaboration that isn’t secretly a competition. The magic of “Anxiety” rests in the fact that Michaels and Gomez turned their personal trauma into universal truth, a feat that many songwriters attempt but only some capture successfully. “Anxiety” just happens to be one of those successes. —Sarina Bhutani
Hayley Williams ft. Boygenius: “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris”
Petals for Armor is the Hayley Williams solo album that was never supposed to exist — but thankfully, it does. Listening to these spare, rhythmic adventures feels like pure release, mostly due to how Williams’s lilt finds a home in the upper atmosphere allowed by the bass-heavy instrumentals. For “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris,” she enlisted the huge voices of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Lucy Dacus to find even more space, and fill it. Here, the Boygenius members stay mellow and low on the chorus while Williams lifts skyward. The thought of such harmony almost not existing feels downright inconceivable. —Patrick Hosken