8 Mile rap battles are as entertaining as they are unrealistic. The film follows B. Rabbit -which seems to be a lightly altered version of Eminem’s bio- and his rise through rap fame in his hometurf in Detroit, affectionately known as “8 Mile.”
In his first rap battle against Papa Doc, B. Rabbit chokes. OK, he’s new, he’s nervous, fine. But still, I’ve seen terrible rappers without an iota of skill spit freestyles no matter how nervous they were.
In his first battle outside the lunch truck, Eminem- er, Rabbit- comes with it against fellow worker. By far his best line of the rap: “You’ve worked at this plant so long… you’re a plant/ Look at his boots… they’re starting to grow roots!” Genius. It’s this type of delivery that’s gonna take this guy far in the 8 Mile rap battle circuit.
The next battle is at the local 8 Mile battle championships, where B.Rabbit has to battle his way through two other rappers before getting a shot at Papa Doc. Unfortunately, we don’t really get a chance to see the other battles going on -which were filmed in an afternoon as extra footage. Basically, we’re supposed to realize these guys mean business.
The first victim is named Lickety Split, seriously. Rabbit makes quick work of him with lines like “He sounds like Erik Sermon… the generic version” and concluding with the same finishing line used against him “I’ m gonna walk my happy a** back across 8 Mile.”
The second- and best- battle is with Lotto, who comes with the line “I feel bad I gotta murder that dude from Leave it To Beaver.” Rabbit comes responds back with “Ward, I think you were a little hard on the Beaver/ So was Eddie Haskell, Ward and Ms. Cleaver…” and the single best line of the movie “Is that a tank top or a new bra? Look, Snoop Dogg just got a boob job!”
While both these 8 Mile rap battles were somewhat believable- most freestyle battles tend to involve the crowd more- the final battle against Papa Doc is ridiculous. B. Rabbit drops some ill verses that review all the points that can be used against him: namely, that he’s broke, white and lives with his mom, and apparently Papa Doc is left speechless while the crowd cheers up Rabbit.
Huh? In the countless rap battles I’ve been to, no one has ever walked away from a championship round like that. Sure, you get a rookie who’s drops it in the first round (like Rabbit) but not an experienced freestyler. No way. And the fact the crowd wouldn’t let Papa Doc get on? Again, this would never happen. These people came to be entertained, and what better way to be entertained than watching the two 8 Mile rap champs duke it out?