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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 23: Xzibit attends “Empire” & “Star” Celebrate FOX’s New Wednesday Night – Red Carpet at One World Observatory on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

Rapper Turned Actor Makes TV Network Debut In “Empire” Season 4

Xzibit said that when it came to playing hip hop mogul Lucious Lyon’s rival, Leslie “Shine” Johnson on Fox’s “Empire,” he said he didn’t have to look very far.

“There’s definitely people I’ve come across in the music industry and the street that I looked toward in order to make the character for Shine,” Xzibit told us. “It’s definitely some negative (people) I’ve pulled from in my career.”

Xzibit’s Shine is out for revenge against both Lucious (Terrence Howard) and Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) after feeling burned and cast aside when the on/off couple left the streets and ascended the ladder of success in the music biz.

The Detroit native explained he tried to portray Shyne not just as the bad guy, but as a multidimensional character.

“In the last episode, (viewers see) Shine had a family, that Shyne had a heart,” the former “Pimp My Ride” host said. “He wanted to shine, and he felt that he was left behind by Cookie and Lucious, and it’s time for him to rise as an artist.”

Xzibit said his work in front of the camera hasn’t stopped his studio flow, and said he’d be making major music announcements on behalf of himself and his record company, “Open Bar Entertainment.”

“There are a lot of things I’ve been working on behind the scenes the are related to my music and my label,” he said. “I’m going to refrain from telling you what exactly that is until its time, but we’re almost ready to come outside.”

“Empire” airs Wednesday nights at 10/9 central on FOX.



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