Nasty Pop Girl Playlist

Written by on June 18, 2023

In one of the early teasers for MAX’s new proudy controversial series The Idol, the question is posed “When was the last truly-f***ing nasty, nasty, bad pop-girl?”. Though the line comes from a series whose contents and themes have been (and should be) examined with a critical lens, I still sat and pondered the question. My Answer? Our naughty-sweet pop girls never went away. Solely there are just a few hits that need highlighting. Here are some of the best nasty songs from female pop idols that need revisiting.

“SMS (Bangerz)” – Miley Cyrus (feat. Britney Spears)

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This sort-of title track from Miley Cyrus’s iconic 2013 album Bangerz, allowed the pop star to discard her Disney aesthetic and enter sexy pop star infamy. The fried electronic background vocals, a Britney feature, and flirty fun lyrics make this the perfect song to start our playlist. Turn this on the next time you feel like strutting your stuff.

“XXX” – Kim Petras

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Right off the bat, the EDM instrumental start gets you ready to dance in your best outfit. The song is off of Petras’ 2022 album named Slut Pop (appropriately on theme). There is no holding back with the lyrics, and the repetition of the title letters leads to a cheeky innuendo. Generally NSFW, but it could not be more fun.

“S&M” – Rihanna

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Pop legend Rihanna fits on any playlist, so naturally, her hit from 2010 appears here. As an artist, she has dabbled in many aesthetics, but a personal favorite was her nasty pop-girl era, of which this song is a staple.

“Papi Bones” – FKA Twigs (feat. shygirl) 

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The duo of FKA Twigs and Shygirl deliver a hit filled with satisfying moan-like choruses and breathy rap verses. The song oozes seductive appeal, with the beat perfectly produced for hip-winding dancing. With only thirteen million streams on Spotify, this is a club track that bad girls need to keep on their rotation this summer. 

“Buttons” – The Pussycat Dolls

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This 2000s throwback song is included as a representative for The Pussycat Dolls‘ entire bad-girl discography. With the iconically upfront lyrics in the siren vocals of the talented Nicole Scherzinger, there’s no way to deny this as one of the best of the nasty-pop genre. The album it comes off of, PCD, has stayed relevant 18 years passed its release largely because of the track’s sexy timelessness. 

“Hot Girl (Bodies Bodies Bodies)” – Charli XCX

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Although the song strives from the A24’s murder mystery Bodies Bodies Bodies, it stands up as an independent pop song. The in-your-face “Who the f**k are you, girl?” lyric theme matches the heavy bass line and Charli XCX’s adlibs, perfectly fitting the nasty-pop aesthetic. With such a powerful melody, the kind of girl that listens to this song is richer than you, drives a cool car, and is hotter than you.

“Gimme More” – Britney Spears

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A legendary song that represents a legendary artist. The soundtrack to the teaser mentioned above, The Idol, and from the artist most synonymous with the nasty pop star. Britney Spears shaped what it was to be a star in the zeitgeist of the 90s to 2000s. Due to her influence, many more pop-princesses became inspired, and this track makes it easy to see why.

Society has not always been kind to our pop girls during their “nasty” era. Nearly every artist on this list has faced scrutiny, exploitation, or criticism during their career. Whether you believe the aesthetic is regressive or empowering, at the end of the day, it is up to you to decide. However, if you wake up wanting to be an unabashed hottie attached to musical liberation – turn on any song in this playlist and have the time of your life.

  • Viviana Zermeño

    Viviana Zermeño is writer for the Coog Radio web team. She is a Senior Media Production student here at the University of Houston. Through her articles she wishes to show her appreciation for music, media, and the people who make it.

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