Nashawn Breedlove, the actor and rapper who famously battled Eminem in 8 Mile, has died. He was 46.
A family member told TMZ that Breedlove died in his sleep Sunday at his home in New Jersey. At this point, the cause of death is not known. Rapper Mickey Factz took to Instagram on Monday to share that Breedlove had died, saying Breedlove “will be missed for your tenacity and aggressiveness.”
Breedlove was a rapper who performed under the moniker Ox. He previously belonged to a group called The Now. Some of his previous work includes appearing on the soundtrack for the 2001 comedy The Wash, starring Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, DJ Pooh and comedian George Wallace.
Breedlove, performing as Ox, appeared on the track “Don’t Talk S**t.” The Wash soundtrack also featured D12, the hip-hop collective led by Eminem, as well as Xzibit, who also made a cameo in 8 Mile.
In 8 Mile, Breedlove’s character, Lotto, belongs to the Free World — a group of six rappers led by Papa Doc, who is portrayed by Anthony Mackie. 8 Mile was directed by Curtis Hanson and written by Scott Silver. The film is loosely based on Eminem’s life, in which he portrays Jimmy Smith Jr., or B-Rabbit.
Lotto and B-Rabbit have an intense showdown near the end of the film. In the rap battle, Lotto spits, in part, “F**k Lotto, call me your leader / I feel bad that I gotta murder that dude from Leave It to Beaver / I sued to like that show, now you got me in fight-back mode.”
The film stars Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy and Kim Basinger. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and two GRAMMYs for Best Rap Song and Best Male Rap Solo Performance.
The film, whose title is taken from the road (8 Mile Road) that divides the predominantly Black part of Detroit and the predominantly white suburban community where Eminem used to live, was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards.