Music News

Mike Posner releases surprise "rap-opera," Operation: Wake Up

Brian Bilicki

Mike Posner has done everything from scoring pop hits like “Cooler Than Me” and earning a Grammy nomination for “I Took a Pill in Ibiza,” to publishing a book of his poetry and walking across the United States.  But his latest musical move is still pretty unexpected.

Mike’s just released a surprise album called Operation: Wake Up, described as a “36-minute rap-opera.”  The album was written and recorded in the basement of his parents’ house, where Mike was staying while his father was being treated for a brain tumor; he died in 2017.

“When I listen back to this album, I don’t really understand how I made it,” Mike says in a statement. “I just remember being in a basement in Detroit and two weeks later it was done.”

The album tells a story that unfolds in L.A. over a period of 48 hours.  It describes someone going through a mental breakdown — depression, self-loathing, isolation and suicide — with Mike playing all the characters.

Because of that, the singer has tweeted a disclaimer, warning, “OPERATION: WAKE UP is a fictional story that blurs the line between reality and performance art. All characters and events in this album, even those based on real people, are entirely made up. Respectfully, anyone struggling with a mental illness should listen with caution.”

Mike has also shared on social media several resources for those who might be struggling with thoughts of self-harm.

A video for one of the album’s tracks, “Weaponry,” featuring Jessie J, is out now. It’s an emotional ballad, and the video, which is a bit hard to watch, cuts between a tearful woman looking through a glass window at a man, played by Mike, in a padded cell, as he slowly shaves his hair off.

If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, or worried about a friend or loved one, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 [TALK] for free confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even if it feels like it, you are not alone.

By Andrea Dresdale
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