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Empire Season 3

Empire: Xzibit Snags Series-Regular Promotion Ahead of Season 3

Prepare to see a lot more of Lucious’ rival Shyne Johnson on Empire this fall (and beyond): His portrayer, Xzibit, is now a full-fledged series regular, TVLine has learned exclusively.

The rapper-actor made his debut as Lucious’ drug-dealin’, music-makin’ adversary in the Fox smash’s Season 2 finale. His promotion takes affect in Season 3, which kicks off Wednesday, Sept. 21 (9/8c).

Empire showrunner Ilene Chaiken foreshadowed Xzibit’s status upgrade in an interview with TVLine last month, telling us Shyne will be “a central character” in Lucious’ Season 3 storyline. The EP, meanwhile, stressed to EW.com back in May that, “Shyne isn’t necessarily an adversary, although I think he could become an adversary.

“Lucious has a long history with him — history that’s going to come back and bite Lucious for a lot of earlier slights,” she continued. “If you have a guy who’s not afraid to die, not afraid to go to prison, that’s a very dangerous adversary.”