In 8 Mile, Jimmy and his crew burn down an abandoned house where the rape and murder of a little girl is believed to have taken place.
8 Mile is one of the most iconic cult-classic films from the 2000s, which is loosely based on the life and times of one of the world’s greatest rappers, Marshall “Eminem” Mathers, who played Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith.
Because the film is a loose interpretation of the rapper’s life, it took liberties with some details of the film. One such liberty was depicted in one of the most memorable scenes in the film.
The scene in question sees B-Rabbit and his crew burn down an abandoned house that was believed to be the location where the rape and murder of a little girl took place, so the group took things into their own hands to avoid the crime happening again.
Did Eminem really live in 8 Mile?
While it has been reiterated that 8 Mile is loosely based on the life of rapper Eminem, the line between fact and fiction is really thin in terms of which details are true and which are false.
One of the facts that has been confirmed to be a liberty taken by the film is Jimmy Smith’s home, which is a trailer park in 8 Mile. This place became a site for tourism for fans of the real-life rapper and the film. But Eminem never lived in 8 Mile.
Moreover, the trailer that he lives in is one that was bought and brought into the trailer park by and for the film and was later removed after shooting of the film.
8 Mile: Why did they burn the house?
8 Mile, as a film, hinges on Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith and his aspirations to break into hip-hop as a white man in a music genre which is predominantly represented by African American pioneers.
Moreover, it is about how his crew and childhood friends, Future, Cheddar Bob, and Sol George go out of their way to support B-Rabbit to realise his dream.
Their friendship is one of the anchors of the film. As such, the gang has many memorable scenes together. One in particular shows the crew convincing B-Rabbit to join in in burning an abandoned house.
The house is believed to be the site where a little girl was raped and murdered. The crew convinced B-Rabbit to join in on the arson by suggesting that he needs to think about if this was his daughter, Lily.
B-Rabbit then joined in the arson in the film. One of the biggest questions is whether this scene was inspired by real-life events or one of the liberties that the film took.
It is unknown, because even if it was true, Eminem would not implicate himself in a case of arson. Therefore, the truth will never be known.
Where to watch 8 Mile?
Eminem’s childhood home burns down
Eminem did not live in the 8 Mile trailer park as the film suggests, but he did live in a small house that he showcased on the album cover of his self-titled album Marshall Mathers 2.
However, in 2013, Eminem and his childhood home made the news as it was reported that the abandoned and boarded up home burned down.
The cause of the fire was never confirmed as it was never determined. The news came just before the rapper was set to perform at that year’s MTV EMAs.
Eminem on childhood home burning down
It was a bittersweet moment for Eminem when his childhood home burned down in 2013 just before the MTV EMAs. This is as at the time of the confirmation of the news, he went on to win two trophies during the ceremony.
During the festivities, the rapper won the awards for Global Icon and Best Hip Hop Act. After the confirmation that it was the iconic home of the rapper that had burned down, his representative was quoted as saying on the matter:
“Just went inside and everything was burnt down; two days ago, it was fine. I don’t know who does this, but this is a Detroit legend. Depressing.”
Why is Eminem called Eminem?
8 Mile’s Jimmy Smith earned his stage name, B-Rabbit, from his childhood nickname, Bunny Rabbit, which he got because he had big ears and buck teeth.
But Marshall Mathers earned his stage name based on the initials of his name M.M, which sounds like Eminem when pronounced.
But Mathers also had a childhood nickname that was inspired by his big ears, namely, Mickey Mouse, which was later shortened to Mouse. Mickey Mouse also resulted in the same stage name when initialised.