Bop Shop: Songs From Kelela, PinkPantheress And Ice Spice, The Boyz, And More

The boy might be a liar, but the memes simply don't lie

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.

PinkPantheress, Ice Spice: “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2”

If you’ve seen the memes, you already know. How would Radiohead’s Thom Yorke sound on this delightfully dreamy cut from viral superstar singer PinkPantheress and indelible Bronx rapper Ice Spice? Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder. But the surprisingly silky mashup represents a very real love of this lighter-than-air low-key anthem by a growing number of listeners by the day. There’s already a grassroots campaign to send it to No. 1, and at this point, it already seems like destiny. No memes necessary (though, of course, always welcome). —Patrick Hosken

Kelela: “Raven”

Kelela’s new album is absolutely entrancing, and the song that fully exhibits her otherworldly yet down-to-earth artistry is its title track, “Raven.” It begins with a hypnotizing hum of fluctuating frequencies as she absorbs us into her atmosphere. You hear her ethereal voice call out empowering lyrics and build yourself up along with the rising tempo: “Through all the labor / A raven is reborn / They tried to break her / There's nothing here to mourn.” The beat blossoms into a confident fervor as Kelela echoes, “And I can feel my body now.” It was almost meditative the way my muscles loosened, my spine re-centered and my limbs spread out with indescribable elation — I took flight in all the ways humanly possible. —Gwyn Cutler

The Boyz: “Roar”

In their first comeback of the year, K-pop’s rising stars The Boyz turned their electro-pop “Whisper” into a sultry, R&B-inspired “Roar.” The lead single of their eighth mini-album, Be Awake, “Roar” explores the boy band’s musical maturity and marks the full return of the group’s 11 members (welcome back, Eric!) after a months-long hiatus. Though the track layers unique sonic elements, from quick-moving 808s to zooming synths, its true meta point is its ever-present whistle, which both opens and closes the nearly four-minute single and is bound to get stuck in your head. “Roar” is accompanied by a massive, cinematic music video, which features each member in numerous sets and silhouettes before bringing them together for pulsating, perfectly in-sync group choreography — a facet of idol life in which they consistently thrive. The track, as well as their entire EP, is representative of the group’s evolution and is a symbol of their togetherness and belief in their strength as a team. Hopefully this is just the beginning of what will be a bright and exciting new era for the fourth-gen ensemble. —Sarina Bhutani

The Band Camino: “Told You So”

The remarkable skill of The Band Camino to unpredictably blend its alt-rock sound with pop sensibilities is what keeps them so engaging: Not every band hosts a raging banger like “1 Last Cigarette” next to a synthy jam like “I Think I Like You ”on their debut album. But “Told You So” is all killer, no filler: It’s thunder, electricity, and an absolute head-banging screamer baked just right that begs to be experienced live, chanted in unison. In their spectrum of songs, it’s the group’s biggest swerve straight towards the rock side of things, and it’s one of their most stellar efforts yet. —Terron Moore

Joy Oladokun: “Changes”

Joy Oladokun gets our existential dread living on this deteriorating Earth. As we witness man-made horrors unfold, she reassures us that “it’s easy to feel kinda anxious” and translates this into her sympathetic sound. From climate disasters and chemical pollution to mass shootings, militarization, and dwindling resources, there’s plenty of wrongs to rectify as a whole but little we can do as individuals. Apart from organizing and advocating for global equity and improvement, all we can do is adapt to survive. There’s nothing more relatable than seeing Oladokun spark up in front of a burning paper-mache replica of our planet: “Yeah, we've thought it was the end of time / We're still holding on and we're still trying.” —Gwyn Cutler

Aja Monet: “The Devil You Know”

Surrealist blues poet and cultural worker Aja Monet has released a new powerful single and captivating short film, "The Devil You Know," via the drink sum wtr label. Echoing the works of legendary jazz poets like Gil Scott-Heron and Jayne Cortez, Monet wrote “The Devil You Know” in support of a people's movement to protect the planet and honor basic rights of all, especially the most vulnerable. "The song is a sonic ode to our striving for a better society. It leans on the radical tradition of jazz, blues, and poetry clubs around the world to gather and speak truth to power, to exercise our hearts, visions, and dreams together so that we may be made anew,” she said. The single previews Monet's forthcoming album. Take 10 minutes to experience her artwork; her continued evolution is inspiring and moving. —Sunni Anderson

100 gecs: “Hollywood Baby”

Is there anything better than Laura Les in a Limp Bizkit t-shirt wielding a blowtorch? I’m referring to the wild yet domestic video for 100 gecs’s volcanic “Hollywood Baby,” but that’s a fitting description of the song itself. The latest 100 gecs rager is a blazing Roman candle, shape-shifting between stadium grandeur and blown-out basement decibels. As ever, it sounds great. —Patrick Hosken

Fifty Fifty: “Cupid”

K-pop debutants Fifty Fifty make their first-ever comeback with the fun and flirty “Cupid,” a perfect post-Valentine’s Day bop for those still in search of love. Coming off the unexpected success of introductory EP The Fifty, the South Korean quartet had much to prove. However, the track’s subtle and swoony melody effortlessly melts with the members’ rich, organic vocals, proving that they can and will continue to live up to the hype. As the title track of their newly released single-album, “Cupid” is representative of the girl group’s sonic versatility, as they chose to go overwhelmingly soft and sweet, in contrast to the intensity of past singles like “Lovin’ Me” and “Log In.” Each track in their discography represents a different sound and feeling, yet they still manage to maintain their group ethos and identity. As 2022 — the year of the girl group — charges in 2023, Fifty Fifty will most definitely be ones to watch. I can’t wait to see what they do next. —Sarina Bhutani

Jonas Brothers: “Wings”

The Jonas Brothers are kicking off their new era of music with “Wings” as the lead single from their upcoming sixth studio album, The Album. In a recent interview with Billboard, Joe explained that “Wings” is “a good entry way into what you’re going to hear from the rest of the body of work,” which tells me that we are in for a ton of feel-good music. “Wings” is a perfect blend of jazzy pop along with hints of electronic dance music that makes you want to sway your body freely while shouting the words all at the same time. Lyrically, the song tells the story of a love letter as the brothers sing, “It was you from the very start / Always knew you gave me a reason / You got me believing / You are the one, the sun, the light of day.” For fans who have been here from the very start, we are excited for their most self-reflective work to date. —Alissa Godwin

Adanna Duru: “Ur a Bitch”

If you’ve ever entered a femme environment where the exhibited “feminism” is more far-fetched than friendly, Adanna Duru’s latest track will epitomize your aggravation. With back-to-back veracious verses, this banger challenges the envious nuances within female friendships. Duru is for slumber parties, not spiteful pettiness. Whether you’re being penalized for your looks, your attitude, or even your presence, stop and think where this intimidation stems from — likely trauma — and then cut the toxicity out of your life. Getting threatened by the paranoia of being the least pretty or losing your partner will certainly make a bitch act up. But it’s 2023; there’s no excuse for women to maliciously compete with each other in a mutual friendship. —Gwyn Cutler

Jawan.mp3: “Still (For You)”

We all have at least one relationship we can't help but think about. In the just-released single “Still (For You)” Jawan.mp3, whose song “Only Want U” went viral on TikTok last year, continues to explore relationships and the reminiscent feelings they leave. The track combines airy vocals, acoustic melodies, and a '90s downtempo beat that can’t help but make you feel like you’re cruising with the top down on a summer evening. “I’ve been told ["Still (For You)"] feels like a warm hug, and that’s a good ass feeling! I hope it makes you reflect and reminisce, but more than anything, feel good! I just want my music to make people feel good,” Jawan expressed. This is Jawan.mp3’s first single of the year, and he’s already hinted at a remix version releasing in the next few weeks. —Jarred McGriff

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