The Illustrious One

The Illustrious One

Jun 4, 2011

Local poet Will “Da Real One” gunned down in North Miami

Spoken-word poet Willie Lee Bell, a.k.a. Will Da Real One, gunned down in front of Miami poetry cafe

A well-known and respected spoken word poet was gunned down early Sunday as he was closing up his Miami area coffee shop and poetry lounge, cops said.
Willie Lee Bell Jr., 47, who performed as "Will Da Real One," was shot several times at around 12:40 a.m. in the parking lot of the Literary Café and Poetry Lounge in North Miami.
Several patrons who were outside the café at the time told cops that Bell was walking to his car when a vehicle pulled up next to him and a man in the passenger seat opened fire.
Bell died at the scene, emergency responders said.
Police were stumped for a motive because the killers didn't take any money or jewelry off Bell.
The killing shocked members of the spoken-word community, who said Bell was an advocate for abused woman and promoted a "drama-free" policy at the lounge, which he opened in 2003.
"Everyone loved this man. He did not deserve to die like this," a friend outside the lounge on Sunday afternoon told NBC Miami.
"There are young ladies here who will tell you how he empowered the women," another woman added. "He empowered you, let you know you were beautiful, you were worthy, he did a lot of fund-raising for battered women."
Bell appeared for two seasons on HBO's "Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry." He won poetry slams across the country and was featured on albums by Miami rappers Rick Ross and Pitbull.
In 2005, the Miami New Times named him the city's best new poet.
"I just got a knack for reaching people," Bell told the New Times after he was honored. "I got a message that I'm trying to distribute, a piece of myself I'm trying to share."

Early Sunday an unknown gunmen shot and killed local poet Will “Da Real One" Bell outside the North Miami cafe where he had plied his trade for years and given a venue to countless other wordsmiths.

Bell, 47, whose performances have been featured on HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, had just closed his business, the Literary Cafe and Poetry Lounge on 933 NE 125th Street, at about 12:40 a.m. and was walking to his car nearby when another car occupied by at least two men pulled up beside him, said Lt. Neal Cuevas of the North Miami Police Department.

A gunman leapt out from the passenger seat and fired multiple times at Bell, who died on the scene, Cuevas said. The men then fled in the car, but did not take any of Bell’s possessions, which included cash and jewelry.
Several witnesses, who had been inside The Literary Cafe earlier that night, offered police differing descriptions of the suspects’ car color as light and dark, with a spoiler on the rear.
Police ask that anyone with information on this crime contact the North Miami Police Department 305-891-8111 or Crimestoppers at 305-371-TIPS.

I’ve known Will since 2003 when he use to performed at “Troys” on
Broward Blvd Fort Lauderdale
fl. I was a shy upcoming poet, still is. Will was a very sentimental person. He broke me out of my shyness and use to call me up on stage to do stand up open mic, unexpectedly. He use to always tell me in due time, once u get use to the stage, the audience, everything will fall in place naturally. It feels good to be in control. Will was very humorous, witty and generous. I followed him to all locations that he went. Because he made everyone feels like family. Will never denied his stage for NO ONE. Anyone who came out to Literary Café was welcomed. I’m going to miss him, so much. I know literary café ill not be the same without his physical presence there. But he will be missed. i know he would of still want me to still come and show support. I going to miss when he use to say “Bring all ur home girls, friends, family, and cousins.” Im going to miss his face book comments, his daily life advices, his jokes, his poems.
Will just wanna let u know I love, u will always be missed and never forgotten-----------luv ILLUSTRIOUS DA POET

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