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.
Juice WRLD & Benny Blanco: “Real Shit”
On what would’ve been Jarad Higgins’s 22nd birthday — and a few days ahead of the one-year anniversary of his untimely death — Benny Blanco dropped “Real Shit,” a previously unreleased tune that finds his collaborator Juice absolutely beaming. “He went in the booth and recorded a song top to bottom in one take,” Blanco tweeted, saying they made the song when Juice was still relatively under the radar. “Then he did it 3 more times and said pick the best one... and they were all perfect songs.” “Real Shit” may sound sad given its context (and Juice singing, “Life’s good, so I’m living great”), but it’s a reminder of the immense joy he was capable of summoning. —Patrick Hosken
Awfultune: “Dear Sarah”
This diaristic bedroom-pop cut from Awfultune’s Layla Eden picks up where her 2019 single “I Met Sarah in the Bathroom” left off. Although Sarah from the bathroom seemed like a viable romantic prospect, life and distance got in the way. “Sarah, I'm not shy anymore like I used to be,” Eden muses over singsongy guitar plucks. “When you're done with college / Will you be done with me?” Familiar sound effects sprinkled throughout the song — the chime of a delivered text message, the flick of a lighter — make you feel like you’re experiencing unrequited love right there with her. —Sam Manzella
Horse Meat Disco (ft. Amy Douglas): “Let’s Go Dancing”
We’ve entered the point in quarantine where we reminisce about the good old days of safe, mask-less gatherings of 10 or more people, dancing the night away, and feeling the groove of a sickening bass beat to nostalgic disco drums. No? Just me? U.K.-based Horse Meat Disco’s October 2020 Love and Dancing album, and their premiere track, “Let’s Go Dancing,” will immediately transport you to the London Eagle or NYC’s Output or Elsewhere. Close your eyes and bop along your masked walk dreaming of post-vaccine dance parties. Remember losing your friends, finding new ones for the night, and loving a song you haven’t heard before under the disco ball. Ah… one day! —Zach O'Connor
Katya (ft. Trixie Mattel): “Ding Dong!”
Vibe check! Everyone’s favorite Russian hooker from RuPaul’s Drag Race has released “Ding Dong,” a “bar-mitzvah barn-burner dance track.” The song is a tribute to Ukrainian artist Svetlana Loboda, and the result is a nightmare-fuel earworm that will live in your head for days. And I mean that as the highest compliment! The song’s accompanying music video is a Rocky Horror ride through Hell starring multiple Katyas and featuring a cameo from her partner in crime, Trixie Mattel. The campaign to have Katya perform this on Eurovision starts now. —Chris Rudolph
Rina Sawayama: “Lucid”
There have been so many songs this year destined to be heard in a club, but Rina Sawyama’s “Lucid” has quite literally pushed music lovers over the edge. As the song transports you to an alternate universe of tight spaces, glittery eyeshadow, and flashing lights, “Lucid” reminds you what it’s like to feel alive. Its use of heavy synth and lyrical looping is nostalgic of the early 2010s DJ movement, where the desired result was a simultaneous, collective release of emotion. The dance breaks, which come exactly when you desire them most, do just that, but for a new generation of listeners. With the undying success of “XS” and “Comme des Garçons (Like the Boys),” 2020 has clearly been the year of Rina Sawayama. “Lucid” finishes it off perfectly. —Sarina Bhutani
Beach Bunny: “Good Girls (Don't Get Used)”
Cool thing about Chicago’s Beach Bunny: The hooks pile on like avalanches. On the international anti-player’s anthem “Good Girls (Don’t Get Used),” Lili Trifilio rails against the dudes that wronged her with pop-punk precision and guttingly sincere lyrics about horniness, being discarded, and the confusing in-between. Incredibly, she seemingly has hooks to burn, saving one of the tune’s best in its final 30 seconds — streaming best practices be damned. Another cool thing? The song will blow up anyway. —Patrick Hosken
K/DA: “I’ll Show You”
If The Princess Diaries was remade today, “I’ll Show You” would 100 percent be on the soundtrack. This fun, feel-good anthem comes courtesy of K/DA, the virtual girl group from the wildly popular League of Legends universe voiced by K-pop sensations Twice; Bekuh Boom, a prolific Blackpink co-writer; and EDM vocalist and producer Annika Wells. (Look all of them up!) In the meantime, who wants to hop in Mia Thermopolis’s 1966 Mustang with me and ride the hills of San Francisco blasting this bop? —Daniel Head
Hugh Masekela: "Riot"
This week, our Spotify Wrapped playlists confirmed what we all already knew: that we listened to a lot of music this year. If you're like me, the results weren't much of a surprise (Westerman helped me get through 2020), but what comes next could be. I let the algorithm take over, and the machine served me "Riot," a wonderful and warm 1969 explosion of jazz trumpet from South African artist Hugh Masekela. You might recognize the melody, as Earl Sweatshirt and Gio Escobar cut it up as a tribute to Masekela after his death in 2018. Spotify's library has 70 million songs and counting. Try to discover something new in 2021 (or use Bandcamp!). —Patrick Hosken