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.
Shura's latest single was made for body-rolling – that is, if you want to keep things PG-13. The British synth-pop songstress's first song off her upcoming sophomore album is the overflowing with frustrated passion and lust fueled by a long-distance relationship, featuring a pleading chorus that declares, "This isn't love / This is an emergency." Paired with a semi-NSFW music video inspired by Rodin's classic sculpture 'The Kiss,' “BKLYNLDN” is a clear frontrunner for 2019's sexiest song. —Bob Marshall
Bear Hands ft. Ursula Rose: "Blue Lips"
"Blue Lips" is a sleazy groove with a bridge you can't get out of your head. "Cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry," singer Dylan Rau croons, and you're immediately hooked. I'm constantly on the lookout for tunes with unique hooks, and "Blue Lips" delivers them in droves, from the verses tinged with staid cigarette smoke to the slinky strip club beat near the end of the song.
But the real highlights are the spoken interludes by Ursula Rose: "I don't see how you think you can come to me and bitch to me/ Lay out your problems like ancient history / Like I ain't got no other shit to do / I love you baby / But my lips are turnin' blue."
It's so sassy, so indifferent. So raw. It's not even particularly melodical, and yet I make sure I sing every word correctly when I hear this part come up. It feels like strutting down your own personal runway and giving someone you can't stand the kiss-off – or perhaps even someone you once loved who's taken you for granted for far too long.
"Someone check the kids, make sure they are still alive," cautions Rau. More like check my pulse, because it stops every time I hear this song. —Brittany Vincent
Lizzo ft. Missy Elliott: "Tempo"
There are two sides to Lizzo. Yes, she is a master of channeling jazz-infused, boisterous bad bitchery on songs like "Good As Hell" and one of this year's best, "Juice," loudly trumpeting her own self-confidence. But she often flips the same energy into quietly confident rap bops (see: "Boys"), and "Tempo" is simply her best yet: a simmering churn of a tribute to those with curves and minimum BPM requirements. Missy Elliott joins the song's climax in full sex kitten mode — "all the thick girls down on the flrrrrrrrrr," she purrs — but for all the power in these two names, the sonic tension in Lizzo's delivery is what makes the song stick. Sometimes less is more. —Terron Moore
Jamila Woods: "Eartha"
Eartha Kitt, a lothario of soul music and a passionate thinker, looks to the sky in the garden, pink flowers behind her blooming on a tree. "Are you willing to compromise in a relationship?" a voice offscreen asks her. She wrinkles her face repeating the word – it's foreign. "What is compromising – compromising for what?" Her eyes are trained on the voice saying this word. She doesn't let up. "To compromise, for what? What is compromise?" The man reiterates the question and her angry spell is broken. Her head cocks to the heavens and she roars with laughter. She finally gets it. The question is a joke.
No one can recreate Kitt's prickly voice that sent cold shivers down the neck, but Jamila Woods damn sure knows how to capture the absurdity of the aforementioned scene from the 1982 documentary All By Myself: An Eartha Kitt Story. Woods' new single "Eartha" is smoother than an egg and brings back that neo-soul nostalgia of the early 2000s. But it's not a slow groove — it's mid-tempo funk with a creamy chorus and supporting vocals, where Woods similarly asserts that compromising in a relationship is bullshit. Woods says more with one stretched out sigh of a word than most singers do with entire verses. Kitt can rest well knowing that someone picked up where she left off. —Trey Alston
Everglow: "Bon Bon Chocolat"
What's the musical equivalent of running a mile at a 6:00 pace? The hook of "Bon Bon Chocolat," the debut single from rookie K-pop girl group Everglow. With a frenetic beat that hits hard, a choice use of Auto-Tune, and a catchy pre-chorus that stomps and builds to a truly sublime drop, "Bon Bon Chocolat" isn't a song so much as a vibe. The six members of Everglow forgo the popular cute concept for a modern girl-crush aesthetic, complete with an eye-catching point dance that will absolutely have you dancing along by the end of your first listen. I've already caught myself doing it on my morning commute, and I have no regrets — and neither will you. —Crystal Bell
Stella Donnelly: "Tricks"
Throughout Stella Donnelly's brand new debut album Beware of the Dogs, the Australian singer-songwriter shows off her ability to mix issues like sexual harassment, the gender gap, #MeToo, and more with catchy, upbeat indie pop. And it's this juxtaposition and her vocal delivery on a song like "Tricks," where she speaks out against men who have heckled her at her shows and the stereotypically macho Australian identity, that makes her message all the more resonant. Donnelly sounds absolutely gleeful in her putdowns, and it's hard to imagine anyone having a better time giving the finger to every man in her life who has wronged her. —Bob Marshall