B-Rabbit Smith

B-Rabbit Smith

    8 Mile
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… on the rough side of Detroit, north of 8 Mile Road. Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. was raised by his promiscuous, alcoholic mother. He describes himself as “white trash.”

Living… with his mother in a run-down trailer park. After breaking up with his girlfriend Janeane, Jimmy has been trying to make a new start. Unfortunately, his life hasn’t changed much since he graduated from high school – and life doesn’t seem to be brimming with prospects.

Profession… factory worker. Jimmy hates his blue-collar work, but is proud of the fact that he has a job. Everyone around him seems to be wallowing and living off welfare, while Jimmy is at least trying to make a living and take care of his little sister.

Interests… music and poetry. Jimmy wants more from life than to slave away for little money. He dreams of being a successful rapper, and spends almost all his free moments with a pen and notepad in hand, practicing. Despite his dedication, the combination of his white skin and his nickname, “Rabbit,” makes it hard for people to take him seriously.

Relationship Status… having a rebound fling with Alex, an attractive young woman who is well integrated into Detroit’s rap scene.

Challenge… proving himself as a rapper. Jimmy’s friends know that he has the talent to make it out of 8 Mile, but every time Jimmy gets in front of a crowd, he chokes. Unable to gain any traction until he can carve out a place in the local rap scene, Jimmy will have to overcome his stage fright and start winning rap battles in one of the most competitive rap scenes in the country. 

Personality… hard-working, ambitious, and loyal. Alas that combination puts him in a bind; Jimmy has to find a way to balance his desire to help his alcoholic mother with his dream to leave 8 Mile far behind. He’s been surrounded by self-destructive behavior his entire life, and has never known anyone who amounted to much of anything. Still, Jimmy’s raw passion for music is enough to keep him going, sustained by the hope that one day he’ll break out of the stagnant, filthy existence he’s known his entire life.


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