Nashawn Breedlove, the actor who received acclaim for his scene in the rap-to-riches film “8 Mile,” in which he delivers a tenacious freestyle in a battle against the character portrayed by the rapper Eminem, commanding the gloomy stage with his blustery lyrics and imposing presence, has died. He was 46.
Mr. Breedlove’s mother, Patricia Breedlove, confirmed his death in a statement on Facebook, though she did not share the date or a cause of his death.
The 2002 film “8 Mile” starred the rapper Eminem, in a story that is loosely based on his life growing up poor in a trailer park on the northern edge of Detroit. The film is renowned for its gritty portrayal of an artist hustling to make it big in the rap world, depicting a community that can be ruthlessly critical of bland artists yet rapturous when a talent twists lyrics into a clever diss or vituperation. It regularly ranks among the best hip-hop movies ever made.
Mr. Breedlove, who in the film portrayed the rapper Lotto, a member of a rival rap group, projected a sense of bravado in his scene with Eminem’s character, Jimmy, who raps as B-Rabbit.
Set in a small, cramped and darkly lit venue, their battle scene shows both characters onstage — Lotto, his arms muscular and voice gruff, visibly more amped up, and Jimmy, his black beanie snugged and eyes downcast, appearing relaxed and even somewhat disinterested.
After calling Jimmy a “coward,” Lotto takes the mic first and injects his rap with mentions of race and Jimmy’s lack of self-worth, all while playfully adding sarcastic notes of politeness, like when he says “I hate to do this” and tells Jimmy to “have a nice day” right after lobbing a profanity at him.
In one verse, Lotto compares Jimmy to the titular character in the midcentury sitcom “Leave It to Beaver,” saying, “Call me your leader, I feel bad that I got to murder that dude from ‘Leave It to Beaver.’”
After finishing his freestyle, Lotto drops the mic and receives resounding cheers from the audience.
Then the mic is handed to Jimmy, who stares at Lotto before charging into his belittling verse that describes Lotto as someone “paranoid” who needs “another steroid.”
Then Jimmy continues to target Lotto’s muscles: “Looking like a cyclone hit you, tank top screaming, ‘Lotto, I don’t fit you!’”
Jimmy is named the winner of the battle, but compared to how others fared against Eminem’s character — including his final opponent in the film, who famously chokes when confronted with Jimmy’s self-deprecating verses — Lotto’s rap stood out for its forceful yet lucid delivery.
A complete list of Mr. Breedlove’s survivors was not immediately available, and relatives could not be reached for comment on Wednesday night.
Mr. Breedlove also appeared on the soundtrack to the 2001 comedy “The Wash,” which starred Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, according to the music publication HipHopDX.
On Monday, Mickey Factz, a rapper, said on Instagram that Mr. Breedlove would be remembered as “one of the few emcee’s to beat Eminem.”