“A thug praying for some change”: Chicago’s Juice Mazelee Charts His Turbulent Coming-of-Age on “WISH N A PRAYER”

Juice Mazelee © Dennis Thompson & Jeremiah Fristoe
Juice Mazelee © Dennis Thompson & Jeremiah Fristoe
Soulful, heavy, and heated, Juice Mazelee’s seductive “WISH N A PRAYER” is a weathered coming-of-age reflection on the trials of young adulthood, tracking all those life lessons the Chicago rapper learned the hard way.
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Stream: “WISH N A PRAYER” – Juice Mazelee




Chicago’s Juice Mazelee is, above all, a storyteller.

Forget, for the time being, his excellent flow and powerful delivery – and ignore, if you can, his ear for solid rhymes and clever, provocative wordplay. Beyond the bars he raps are stories of connection and personal growth; of survival and staying power; of inner reckoning and emotional upheaval; of self-expression and self-discovery. Every song in Mazelee’s arsenal is another deep-dive into the human experience, picking apart what it means to be a person navigating what can too often be a cold, hostile, unforgiving world. And yet, the songs themselves are full of raw passion and the rapper’s own fiery spirit; vulnerable and visceral, his worlds are as intimate and uniquely his as they are instantly relatable to all, no matter who we are or where we come from.

This holds especially true for Mazelee’s latest single: Soulful, heavy, and heated, “WISH N A PRAYER” is a weathered coming-of-age reflection on the trials of young adulthood, tracking the life lessons he learned the hard way. It’s a seductive, hypnotic song, and one that reveals the pains of growing up and discovering life isn’t as easy, or as simple, as you may have thought it would be.

Hard times gon’ test us all,” he raps.

Ain’t that the truth.

WISH N A PRAYER - Juice Mazelee
WISH N A PRAYER – Juice Mazelee
Sometimes we pray for change
We kinda low on ends.
Sometimes we pray things change
Still it all depends.
All the times I wish I saved
I pray the highs don’t end.
Wish the weed take away my pain
The lows got me again.

Released March 20, 2024, “WISH N A PRAYER” is Juice Mazelee’s second song of the year following February’s “EVEN-IF,” and the latest single taken off his forthcoming second album, HERE NOW N FOREVER, out June 20, 2024. Produced by The Third, “WISH N A PRAYER” is a sonically smoldering, emotionally nuanced look-back on Mazelee’s late teenage years into his early twenties – those pivotal parts of his timeline responsible for making him the man he is today not through nurture, but through action.

Through one long verse bookended by a heartfelt hook, Mazelee unpacks the past to take a long, hard look at the person he was and the choices he made in that transition from boyhood to manhood:

A thug praying for some change
was it cream he wished for?

he sick and tired of feeling
like he headed through a trapped door

phone full of text drafts from help that he ain’t asked for
maybe it’s just f*ing pride but then again he might know
that wouldn’t lend a hand if he fell on spiked floors
he talk to god every day, god get back when he can
he got some bills past due and he could sure use a hand
he screaming this his last letter got em feeling like Stan
tryna stay properly prepared so he on time for the plan
he got no shoulder left for tears nobody feel what he saying
wonder if alpo said a prayer ‘fore he took out his mans
or wish the karma never reach him how he dished it again
too many potholes in the game somebody call a fill in
before this fake sh* overtake and everything out of hand
nowadays support ain’t sh* but sharing pics of the ‘gram
so when he say he falling back will the real understand
and if you respect that at least respect where he stand
hard times gon’ test us all in the end did he win
Juice Mazelee © Dennis Thompson & Jeremiah Fristoe
Juice Mazelee © Dennis Thompson & Jeremiah Fristoe



“Coming of age and being a young adult was a bit of a curve for me,” Mazelee (born Jaharri Marchè Harrison) tells Atwood Magazine. “I viewed money as a here today, gone tomorrow kind of situation, leading to a mentality of careless spending and having to get things right – which I’m sure we’ve all experienced in our youth at some point.”

“In ‘WISH N A PRAYER,’ I say, ‘He used to think that faith is all you need to manifest bands, he learned that lesson by 19 when every dollar came in.’ This part is especially important to me because it connects me to the listener through one of my personal experiences. I had my own idea of adulthood at the time, and this is me looking back.”

In “WISH N A PRAYER,” we hear a young Mazelee figuring out, through older Mazelee’s eyes, that he’s on his own; that he has the power to make himself or break himself; and that life is a fine balance between spending today and saving up for tomorrow – that goes for far more than just money.

a lot of think they seasoned skill set hella bland
he used to think that faith was all you need to manifest bands
he learned that lesson by 19 when every dollar came in
some form or fashion whether trap or rapping all came from sin
the case in point some make a way just to give in
for every dollar that you spend the cost of what all depends
could’ve been a righteous man probably running for mayor
money talks like a mf money talks like a mf wish and a prayer.
Juice Mazelee © Dennis Thompson & Jeremiah Fristoe
Juice Mazelee © Dennis Thompson & Jeremiah Fristoe



Mazelee may on paper just be sharing snippets of his life, but storyteller that he is, “WISH N A PRAYER” comes to us as a series of deeply relatable anecdotes of self-discovery and hard-earned lessons. It’s a candid reflection on scars and wounds from those early days battling himself and the world around him; sometimes he won, no everyone gets knocked down from time to time.

What matters most is that these “lessons” are not just for teenagers and twenty-somethings; they span all our lives, and are well worth taking to heart. From finding real, bona fide sources of support to looking beyond cheap thrills and temporary highs, Mazelee offers countless words of wisdom – all in a stunningly soulful, spellbinding package.

Add to that excellent flow and powerful delivery; add to that his solid rhymes and provocative wordplay, and you’ve got a brilliant rapper on the rise and in his prime. Stay tuned for Juice Mazelee’s sophomore album HERE NOW N FOREVER, out June 20, 2024!

Sometimes we pray for change
We kinda low on ends.
Sometimes we pray things change
Still it all depends.
All the times I wish I saved
I pray the highs don’t end.
Wish the weed take away my pain
The lows got me again.

— —

:: connect with Juice Mazelee here ::
Stream: “WISH N A PRAYER” – Juice Mazelee



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WISH N A PRAYER - Juice Mazelee

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? © Dennis Thompson & Jeremiah Fristoe


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