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If something needs to happen with this shit, it needs to happen now.” ~B-Rabbit

Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith is the main protagonist and a young underground rapper who frequently performed in rap battles, well known for beating the rapper Papa Doc and becoming the new champion, He is portrayed by the rapper Eminem

The film follows him being a young white rapper who lives in a trailer park on 8 Mile Road, just outside of Detroit. Jimmy learns to rap at The Shelter, a real-life hip-hop venue in Detroit with a long history. B-Rabbit has a rough relationship with his mother, a soft spot for his younger sibling, and a tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship with a young blonde woman.

Background[]

Nothing is known of his father. It is only slightly clear about what Rabbit was doing before the events of 8 Mile. According to Future he's a "lyrical genius" and would likely have been writing and performing songs for a few years. He was in a relationship with Jeneane, which ended just before the events of the film.

Storyline[]

At the beginning of 8 Mile, we see him preparing for a rap battle at The Shelter, an underground club. He is clearly nervous and vomits before the show. He takes the stage to face Lil' Tic (Proof), but much to his embarrassment he chokes and leaves the venue in disgrace.

The rest of the film focuses on his life and deciding about how he wants to make it in the rap game. After losing his job at a pizza parlour and splitting up with Jeneane, he's forced to move back in with his mother who lives in a trailer park with his young sister Lily. There is immediate heated conflict with his mother's boyfriend Greg Buehl who was at one time only a couple of years above Rabbit at school. Jimmy at some point started working at a pressing plant in New Detroit Stamping in order to earn some money, but it was not enough for him to sustain himself properly; he was also scolded constantly at work by his boss for being late and not taking responsibility for this.

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B-Rabbit battling Mike (Xzibit) at Lunch Truck.

When he isn't working, he's seen hanging out with his friends Future (the rap battle host), Sol, DJ Iz and Cheddar Bob who are in their own way social outcasts and dream about finding their way out of the ghetto and living a life of luxury.

His other friend Wink sees that B-Rabbit is a talented lyricist and rapper and has connections with WJLB a radio station that has access to studios and promotes the work of other artists. Wink is also an associate of The Leaders Of Tha Free World, a gang that serves as the central rivals towards Jimmy and the rest of the Three One Third crew, Wink never attacks jimmy during his associations with his gang rivals.

Whilst working one day, he sees a blonde girl by the name of Alex Laterno - who's looking for her brother. Immediately, there is a spark between them. They meet again later on at a parking lot gathering and both end up at the proceeding abandoned house party. She reveals that she is an aspiring model with the intention of getting hooked up and going to New York. She shows up at his work one day during lunch break and witnesses him free-styling with some other employees. She is impressed and suggests he 'takes her somewhere'; they end up having sex in a hidden part of the plant. They start a brief relationship which essentially ends when he catches Wink and Alex having sex in one of the studios where Wink works, after Wink organizes a photoshoot for Alex. A fight breaks out and Jimmy leaves. That night as Jimmy goes to collect his sister Lily (who was at a neighbors because their mother was intoxicated after Greg had left her following her impending eviction) he's confronted by Wink who has completely aligned himself with Papa Doc's gang and they proceed to attack him.

Meanwhile, Future has signed Jimmy up for another battle at The Shelter, much to his dismay at first, but he then decides that this is the best way to gain confidence and the respect of everyone in the battling community. He takes on two members: Lyckety-Splyt and Lotto of whom he easily defeats with clever comebacks that are progressively impressive each time. Papa Doc being the defending "champion" allows B-Rabbit to battle first.

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Future encouraging B-Rabbit at The Shelter during the Final Battle.

B-Rabbit first starts the battle mocking Tha Free World before acknowledging any flaws that Papa Doc might have as ammunition against him: He lives with his mother in a trailer. he's "white trash", Cheddar Bob shot himself, Wink slept with his girl. In a smart twist. he uses these as a springboard to reveal to the crowd secrets about Papa Doc, i.e. Papa Doc wasn't a real thug but instead lead a privileged background complete with private schooling and a stable family environment. Humiliated and unable to make a comeback.

Papa Doc leaves with the rest of Tha Free World crew. Jimmy decides to return to work instead of celebrating his battle victory and reveals to his friends that he plans to "make it on his own". He then leaves and it is implied that he would become what Eminem is now.

Relationships[]

Family[]

  • Stephanie Smith: His relationship with his mother has been one of emotional turmoil. She's an alcoholic who dates bad men, is unemployed, scrounges on welfare and is about to be evicted from their trailer. She somewhat feels guilty about the life she's given Jimmy and Lily but can never really seem to get motivated enough to be able to turn it around. Things are at their worst between the two when they argue over Greg Buehl, an idiot redneck and fellow former pupil of Jimmy's school who is involved in a relationship with Stephanie at the start of the film. She blames him for Greg's later abandonment of her and seems to act like their current situation isn't really her fault. Near the end of the film it is revealed that she won $3200 from a bingo session, which was more than enough for her to pay the overdue rent and avoid losing her home. Following this, she somewhat seems keen to change her life for the better and reconciles with Jimmy.
  • Lily Smith: Jimmy's younger half-sister. He behaves very tenderly and caring towards her, and makes her more of a priority than his mother does.
  • Greg Buehl: Jimmy first encounters Greg having sexual intercourse with Stephanie upon returning to the home. They instantly start to argue after Greg taunts Jimmy about his job status and insults his friends. Greg generally treats Jimmy disrespectfully throughout the film, with his behavior culminating in a physical fight between the two once he starts being violent to Stephanie after Greg finds out about the due eviction. Following the brawl, Greg leaves and is never seen again during the movie.

Romantic[]

  • Jeneane (last name unknown): Jimmy had a relationship with Jeneane. She thought they were going to split up, so she told Jimmy that she was pregnant. Jimmy does break up with her, but he says that it's not her, it's him, leaving her his apartment and his car. She later comes to his job and asks him why he hasn't called. While talking to her, it is revealed that B-Rabbit never officially broke up with her and that he just left without saying a word. B-Rabbit tells her to go home; he can't talk about this now whilst he's at work. As she leaves, she taunts him over his choking during his first rap battle. Jimmy tentatively contemplates visiting her while driving home after stopping by at the recording studio where he found Alex with Wink, his former friend.
  • Alex Laterno: She is the brief love interest of Jimmy during the film. They first have sex at Jimmy's workplace. The relationship disintegrates when Jimmy finds her having sex with Wink. This leads to him fighting with Wink and his subsequent beating by The Free World crew. She does seem sorry for what transpired, and wishes him luck before his final rap battle. At the end they exchange a reconciliatory look and gesture.

Friendships[]

  • Future: Future is the Battle Host at the Shelter. He is good friends with Jimmy and acts like something of a mentor, encouraging Jimmy to display his talent through freestyle battles. They have a brief falling out when Future signs him up to the next battle without his consent, but ultimately they reconcile the night Jimmy decides to battle, leading to his success.
  • Wink: Wink is another friend who also wants to help Jimmy, but by getting him into promos with demos and studio time. Him and Future don't get on and Future suggests that Wink frequently exaggerates or flat out lies about his connections. Wink is also connected to Tha Free World, which leads to conflicting interests. Wink helps Alex with her modelling work, but then has sex with her in the studio. Jimmy discovers them and fights Wink, which leads to Wink getting Tha Free World crew to beat up Jimmy. Although they don't make up, Wink is seen to smile when Jimmy wins the final battle, suggesting he is happy for his former friend.
  • Cheddar Bob: A member of Jimmy's crew, Bob is portrayed as having some degree of learning difficulties. Jimmy acts as protector for Bob and Bob seems to idolise him.
  • Sol: another friend and member of Rabbit's crew.
  • DJ Iz: another friend and member of Rabbit's crew. He is portrayed as quite intellectual and will talk at length about the inequalities present in Detroit. He also seems to be a feminist.
  • Paul: A gay man working with Rabbit, Rabbit sticks up for him when another worker is acting "homophobically" towards him. In return, Paul covers Jimmy's shift so he can battle at The Shelter near the end of the film.

Trivia[]

  • This story is almost based on Eminem's life, including the paintball scene in which he shoots the police car instead of shooting pedestrians, he was actually arrested, According to police reports, it is said that its not Marshall who shot it, his friend had, and the target had failed to show up for court.
  • Jimmy/B-Rabbit's birthday could be anywhere from November 5 to November 11 (likely the latter date), as his birthday was stated to take place on a Friday within two weeks after the start of the movie and contains scenes in which traditions from Devil's Night are practiced.
  • Marshall Mathers had a less-than-ideal childhood, it's no secret. Although Mathers lived in trailers on occasion, he grew up primarily in the small house depicted on the Marshall Mathers LP and Marshall Mathers LP2, The trailer park was one of the major sets for the film 8 Mile, but it didn't play a significant role in Eminem's real life.
  • Eminem mimed to save his voice for the rap battle and he would write on a notepad and someone will take it away to get his attention.
  • He lost 24 Ibs for his role.
  • He asked the director (Curtis Hanson) to dye his hair to his natural hair color (originally brown) so no one will know and subject that he was playing his stage persona (Eminem, Slim Shady).

Gallery[]


Part of the series of the Three One Third crew
B-Rabbit ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎·‎‎ ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ Future ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ · ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎Cheddar Bob ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎ · ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎Sol George ‎‎ ‎ ‎ · ‎‎ ‎ ‎ ‎Dj Iz
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