Nashawn Breedlove, the rapper and actor who played Eminem’s rap battle opponent Lotto in 8 Mile, has died aged 46, his mother announced.
In the 2002 film loosely based on his own life, Eminem’s Jimmy defeats Breedlove’s character before moving on to face Papa Doc, played by Anthony Mackie.
TMZ first reported the news of Breedlove’s death on Tuesday (26 September), saying that he died in his sleep at his home in New Jersey.
The actor’s mother Patricia A Breedlove confirmed the report in a Facebook post, writing: “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of my beloved son Nashawn Breedlove’s passing.”
Noting that many knew him by his aliases, Lotto and Ox, “a name that echoed his resilience and determination”, she added: “Nashawn was a rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor. No one could deny his talent.”
Rapper Mickey Factz remembered him as one of the few “to beat Eminem”.
“You will be missed for your tenacity and aggressiveness,” he added in the tribute posted to Instagram.
His cause of death is currently unknown, TMZ reported, citing family sources.
Under his stage name Ox, Breedlove also appeared on the soundtrack of the 2001 comedy film The Wash, starring Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, performing on the song “Don’t Talk S***.”
8 Mile was released to critical acclaim, earning an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.
The film follows Jimmy (Eminem) or B-Rabbit as he takes on Detroit’s majority Black rap scene.
Lotto (Breedlove) is a member of the rap group The Free World, Jimmy’s rivals in the film. Taking on Jimmy, Lotto raps: “I’ll spit a racial slur, honky, sue me/This s*** is a horror flick, but the Black guy doesn’t die in this movie.” He adds: “You think these n****s gon’ feel the s*** you say?/I got a better chance joinin’ the KKK.”