Interviewed and written by Tocarra Eldridge @TocarraMusicWorld
Raised in the church since a youth, it was evident that gospel singer/rapper and pastor, Vernon Little, would utilize his prowess gifts and talents to spread the gospel to the world with his music. Raised in Bronx, N.Y., the young artist would eventually heighten his career and master his music artistry, to now sharing his creativity to an international following.
In 2011, Vernon Little released a CD titled A New Beginning through Tate Music Group. In 2018, he released a CD titled Double Minded through Bentley Records. Recently, the remarkable artist released a new EP titled Words To Live By which consists of high energy Christian rap and incredible melodies. I had the opportunity to interview Vernon Little.
Here is what he has to share with the readers.
Tocarra Eldridge: What inspired your music artistry?
Vernon: Being a fan of the rap music and growing up in the Bronx, New York – just being outside in the streets. How I got into it was, I went to a local DJ’s apartment one day and he invited me to get on the microphone. So, I took him up on his offer, and just followed somewhat what I would hear on the record and just had some fun with it. So, that local DJ continued to invite me to his apartment. I began writing a few months later, and I just continued from there – meeting people, and opportunities began to come my way.
Tocarra: You rap and sing, which is a double threat. How did that come into existence?
Vernon: Well, that’s just from growing up in the church and singing in the choir. That’s pretty much where it started. My mother would have me in church choirs, so, yeah that was the beginning of that.
Tocarra: You have a new EP out titled ‘Words To Live By’. Would you like to briefly tell us about it?
Vernon: It’s a mixture; its part gospel and its part regular rap. The gospel part of it comes from me wanting to give another alternative, especially when it comes to the rap, because it seems like the most popular rap, in my opinion, has a lot of negative words and I don’t think it’s too uplifting. I wanted to take the opportunity to put a positive message out while bringing some type of balance giving alternative. That title track is pretty much a track that uplifts people, and I have some other encouraging tracks on there as well. Some of the other tracks simply showcase my skill set.
Tocarra: What do you believe your listeners and fans will get out of your EP once they listen to it?
Vernon: One particular song, I’m telling a story about some things that I’ve been through. I go that route also because I’ve made some bad decisions in life like we all do. I talk about hanging in there, trusting God and being grateful for an opportunity to bounce back and get on the right path. I’m being transparent; they are going to get some transparency about my life and journey.
Tocarra: Were there any songs on the album that emotionally moved you or was life changing?
Vernon: Yes, the song called “Dealing With Stress”, which is something we all can relate to. Stress comes in a lot of different forms. It’s not an accurate number, but I try to always say that half of my problems I have, I bring on myself and half of my problems just come to me. So, in the record “Dealing With Stress”, I was saying that most of the problems that I’m talking about overcoming, most of those problems were my fault to be honest. (Laugh) I always tell people that I talk to on a personal level that when I turned 25 is when a light bulb somewhat came on. Even though you are grown, I think from the age of 18 to 25 you’re transitioning into adult hood. I’m still a grown kid to be honest. (Laugh)
Tocarra: As we mentioned, you are also a singer. As a gospel rap artist, the art form is gradually being accepted by the church. How did you break that stereotype?
Vernon: Fortunately for me, it was through my mom. My mom is transitioning now and she is my number one supporter with everything. At her age, she was around way before there was any rap. What opened her up to it was the fact that it was something that she saw that I loved. She opened up a church along with some of my aunts and uncles, which is still open ‘til this day, and of course me being her son she allowed me to rap in the church. People know me there, so they accepted me. What I would tell people – you know we all like whatever instrumentation that we like on a song, as far as the music and production – but I say just listen to what I’m saying; just listen to the words. The music might not be there thing, but just listen to the words. I try to get their ear to listen to what’s being said. I’m not so much into the music, I’m more so into the words. I think the lyrics are the common denominator.
Tocarra: So you’re more concerned about the message more so?
Vernon: Pretty much! You know, that’s the only way you’re going to get some people. Some people, as soon as they hear a beat come on they’re like ‘aw that’s not my thing, I don’t want to hear that’. (Laugh) I always say ‘just listen to what they’re saying, they might be saying something that you like.’
Tocarra: You are also an ordained pastor. Did your journey of faith come into existence as you discovered your music artistry or was it later?
Vernon: As I mentioned before, I was raised in the church. My mom always had me in church. I was one of those babies dedicated to the Lord from a youth. So, that’s my origin and my roots. Of course, you grow up as a teenager out there in the streets and there are people that you meet from different walks of life. I listened to a lot of people that has had other journeys that follow other doctrines, but I still ultimately came back around. Well, I won’t say I ever left or stopped believing in God. However, there were times when I was out there in the streets doing what I wanted to do. You know how when you’re a teenager at some point you start thinking you know more than adults, your parents and your teachers. Though, I ended up coming back around. I didn’t really like any of the other alternatives, as far as not believing in God at all. To each it’s own as far as people believing in different ways in God. I just believe in what I believe. So, I’m back focused on what I believe in. I believe that no matter how you were raised, on your journey to adulthood, you should get out there and learn on your own and experience things. Ultimately, you make the decision on what path you want to follow. So, I ended up going back to how I was raised.
Tocarra: Do you have any words of inspiration or encouragement for artists who are looking to break into the music industry, however, have a challenge doing so?
Vernon: Yes I do. I would say focus on your craft and practice, but don’t neglect the other important areas and extensions of life, as far as education and working. I believe education is important. I started off young; I was 15 years old. I started out in a group with my two friends who were 16 at the time. We had a manager and he was selling us these dreams. (Laugh) I’m going to be honest. I stopped focusing on my school work. I would miss school from time to time. I started believing in this dream and those are mistakes that I regret. So, stay focused on your education and finish high school. I don’t know if you want to go directly to college or trade school, because sometimes you rush into things and you’re not quite ready or know what you want to do. However, at some point find something that you like to do that can make you some legitimate money. Continue your education and work while you pursue your dream. Also continue to hone your craft, but don’t stop working or going to school. Working actually provides you with income so that you can get to the studio. Some people are fortunate, as my friends were, to have an investor. Little did we know as young teenagers, that this guy was keeping all the receipts, and eventually when bills came, he’s like ‘hey, I gotta get that money back’. It’s always good to make your own money and invest in yourself. Also, it’s good to meet people. Everybody you meet can’t help you, but some people will genuinely want to help you and give you good advice. Networking is the key.
Tocarra: Would you like to add anything in closing before we conclude the interview?
Vernon: Well, I just want to thank you! Thank you for this opportunity to be able to share about my release Words To Live By, which is available and streaming on all digital platforms. I really appreciate the opportunity, and I want to thank my publicist also, Ms. Renae Francis for making me aware of your publication, because the publication is really good.
Tocarra: Thank you!
Vernon: Yeah, I was looking at some of the articles in your publication. So, I just really want to thank you for the opportunity.
Tocarra: You’re more than welcome. Thank you for your time today Vernon, and you have a blessed rest of the day!
Vernon: You’re very welcome. You do the same, and take care of yourself.
For more information about Vernon Little, please visit:
Last modified: June 27, 2023