•Rapper Mickey Factz remembered him as one of the few "to beat Eminem."
•His cause of death is currently unknown, entertainment news site TMZ reported, citing family sources.
Actor and rapper Nashawn Breedlove, known for taking on Eminem in a rap battle in the film 8 Mile, has died aged 46.
Breedlove played the formidable opponent Lotto in the 2002 film, loosely based on rapper Eminem's life, and appeared on the soundtrack for the 2001 film The Wash.
His mother confirmed his death on social media on Tuesday.
He died in his sleep at his home in New Jersey on Sunday, TMZ reported.
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.
"Nashawn was so humble and modest he didn't even know he had true fans," a comment under the post read.
"No one could deny his talent," his mother wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
"Nashawn's departure from this world has left an immense void in my life, one that words cannot fully express. I can't put into words the pain and hurt that I feel.
"He was not just my son; he was a remarkable man whose character and strength inspired all who crossed his path."
Many paying tribute to Breedlove fondly remembered his scene in 8 Mile, when his character Lotto takes on Eminem's B-Rabbit and raps, "I feel bad I gotta murder that dude from Leave it to Beaver".
Though he ended up losing the battle, his performance left the entire crowd whooping and clapping in the film.
The film received critical acclaim and was a massive commercial success, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Lose Yourself by Eminem.
Breedlove also contributed to the soundtrack of the 2001 comedy film The Wash starring Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, under his stage name Ox.
His cause of death is currently unknown, entertainment news site TMZ reported, citing family sources.