Lift Off

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"Lift Off"
Single-Crossing A Line-Nothing Makes Sense Anymore.jpg
Song by Mike Shinoda from the album Post Traumatic
Recorded 2017-2018
Released June 15, 2018
Length 4:00
Time signature 4/4
Tempo 86
Writer Mike Shinoda, Chino Moreno, Andrew Dawson, Colson Baker, Rory Andrew
Producer Mike Shinoda, Andrew Dawson
Label Warner Bros. Records

Post Traumatic track listing
  1. Place To Start
  2. Over Again
  3. Watching As I Fall
  4. Nothing Makes Sense Anymore
  5. About You (feat. Blackbear)
  6. Brooding
  7. Promises I Can't Keep
  8. Crossing A Line
  9. Hold It Together
  10. Ghosts
  11. Make It Up As I Go (feat. K.Flay)
  12. Lift Off (feat. Chino Moreno & Machine Gun Kelly)
  13. I.O.U
  14. Running From My Shadow (feat. grandson)
  15. World's On Fire
  16. Can't Hear You Now

"Lift Off" is the twelfth song off of Mike Shinoda's debut studio album, Post Traumatic. The track features guest vocals from Chino Moreno of the band Deftones and Machine Gun Kelly, who was slated to open the North American leg of the One More Light tour.


"Lift Off" originates from Linkin Park's European Tour for One More Light in June 2017. Mike invited Machine Gun Kelly to a studio in Berlin, Germany on an off day from the tour to record vocals. When LPAssociation tweeted about the song in June 2018, Machine Gun Kelly replied, "crazy, this was in Berlin, Germany on an off day. mike started playin that beat I wrote my verse in like 10 minutes."[1]

As far back as fall 2016, Mike was planning to release more Fort Minor music and perform shows as Fort Minor in between Linkin Park dates on their next world tour. On the One More Light World Tour, Mike had already begun recording tracks on tour.[2] Mike originally planned for a Fort Minor release of songs in fall 2017, going as far as to run the idea by Linkin Park and get their approval for the release, before Chester passed away in July 2017. "Lift Off" and "I.O.U." were at least two songs planned for this Fort Minor release. On the European Tour, Mike began teasing Fort Minor by wearing exclusive new Fort Minor merch that he designed himself.[3][4]

On September 10, 2017, BlaqAbe, a producer/studio engineer for hip-hop artist Machine Gun Kelly, posted on his Instagram stories a picture of MGK, Mike Shinoda and himself in the studio.[5]

"Lift Off" came about during a period of escapism for Mike.[6] Chino's involvement on the song stemmed from Mike relating to the loss of Deftones bassist Chi Cheng.

Mike told Genius, "At various points this year, as I was writing the album, I had to unplug and escape. This song came when I was in one of those moments."[7]

Chino said to Rolling Stone about "Lift Off", "The main thing we talked about was when do you start back up being creative again and feeling OK about doing so. For me, as a listener to the music he's put out so far, I can tell he was dealing with that question." Chino added, "Mike is really concerned about people thinking that he's selfish for doing Post Traumatic, but like, fuck that. He’s a creative person. He's in the trenches. Whether people understand it or not, he's always the dude in the trenches. When they were doing One More Light, I went to the studio with him one day and he must have had 40 or 50 ideas. I just sat with him and listened to some and he's the guy who's always working. I'm not saying the other guys aren't involved, but he's definitely the dude who's in there. So for someone to assume he's not going to make music is crazy."[8]

Originally, Mike sent Chino several songs that were relatively complete, and Chino couldn't think of what he could add to them. Instead, they decided to get together and work on a beat-heavy instrumental that would then become "Lift Off". Mike said, "Chino's just dope, he's just a dope singer and a really unique artist. I always enjoy working with him in particular. It's funny because when we first started touring together, I don't think those guys really liked us very much. And then later we just kind of got over it, for the most part. Chino in particular, we're really cool."[9]

While on tour for Post Traumatic, Mike always rapped the early demo lyrics for the song live instead of the studio version lyrics.

Music Video

Mike released the music video for "Lift Off" on July 13th, 2018 as a surprise with no prior teasing. It shows the recording of the song from various studio sessions with Mike, Chino, and Machine Gun Kelly.[10]

The video was directed and produced by Mark Fiore. The video was shot by Mark Fiore and Aaron Farley.


Note: Only the date of the very first release of each version is listed.

Title Album Length Recorded Released Notes
Lift Off Post Traumatic 4:00 2017-2018 June 15, 2018
  • Features vocals from Chino Moreno and Machine Gun Kelly
Lift Off Post Traumatic (Clean) 4:00 2017-2018 June 15, 2018
  • Censored.
  • Worldwide release on October 31, 2018.[11]
Lift Off Post Traumatic - Instrumentals 4:00 2017-2018
  • Official instrumental version.


The studio version of "Lift Off" has never been played live, but it has been used as a pseudo-jam session for Mike and the band to do different verses and for Dan to do a drum solo. Prior to being included in the set as a full song, Mike would sparingly rap the demo verse of "Lift Off" over the extended bridge of "Sorry For Now". At the last show of the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, the first "live version" of "Lift Off" was debuted, which had Mike rap the demo verse of "Lift Off", the demo verse from "Sorry For Now", and opening act AmirSaysNothing rapped two verses from his song "Employee Of The Month". Beginning with the Munchen show, the live version of "Lift Off" was added to the set rotation, where Mike would rap different verses from older songs over the track. He would regularly rap the chorus of "Step Up" as a refrain in addition to including verses from the likes of "High Voltage", "Hands Held High", "Nobody's Listening", "Dedicated", and the "Skin To Bone Recharged Remix".

Setlist for Mike Shinoda's show in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg on March 23, 2019 featuring a sketch of "Boris" (from "Ghosts") saying lines from three verses commonly rapped by Mike on "Lift Off" - "Lift Off" itself, "High Voltage", and "Step Up."

The demo verse lyrics were added on December 7, 2021 and can be seen below.


Last Updated: May 2, 2020

Type Description First Played Last Played
Alternative Live Version November 17, 2018 September 6, 2019
Alternative w/ 'Sorry For Now' Demo Verse November 17, 2018 November 17, 2018
Alternative w/ 'Employee Of The Month' November 17, 2018 November 17, 2018
Alternative w/ 'Step Up' Chorus March 18, 2019 March 26, 2019
Alternative w/ 'High Voltage' v1 March 18, 2019 March 26, 2019
Alternative w/ 'High Voltage' v1 + Chorus March 19, 2019 September 6, 2019
Alternative w/ 'Hands Held High' v1 March 19, 2019 March 21, 2019
Alternative w/ Drum Solo March 21, 2019 September 4, 2019
Alternative w/ 'Nobody's Listening' v1 March 22, 2019 March 22, 2019
Alternative w/ 'Hands Held High' v2 March 23, 2019 March 23, 2019
Alternative w/ 'Dedicated' v1 March 26, 2019 March 26, 2019
Alternative w/ 'Step Up' v1 September 4, 2019 September 4, 2019
Alternative w/ 'Skin To Bone' Remix September 6, 2019 September 6, 2019

Live Guests

Last Updated: May 2, 2020

  • AmirSaysNothing


  • Written by Mike Shinoda, Chino Moreno, Andrew Dawson, Colson Baker, Rory Andrew
  • Produced by Mike Shinoda, Andrew Dawson
  • Vocals by Mike Shinoda, Chino Moreno, Colson Baker
  • Mixed by Manny Marroquin
  • Mastered by Michelle Mancini



External Links