It’s a busy time for Xzibit (aka Alvin Joiner). The actor-producer-rapper has been promoted to series regular for Season 3 of Fox’s hit Empire following his guest starring role in Season 2. He also has been cast in a lead role opposite Michael Angarano in indie feature Sun Dogs.

In Empire, Xzibit plays Leslie “Shyne” Johnson, who is 100% wolf and 100% gangster. He has managed artists, started record imprints and even sold a few units here and there, but his bread and butter always has been — much to his years-long frustration — drugs, guns and extortion. Feeling shut out by the other heavy hitters in the music industry, he carries a big chip on his shoulder, especially for Lucious (Terrence Howard).

In Sun Dogs, Xzibit plays Staff Sgt. Jenkins. Melissa Benoist, Allison Janney and Ed O’Neill also star in the pic, the feature film directorial debut of Once Upon a Time star Jennifer Morrison that was penned by Anthony Tambakis (Warrior).

The film follows Ned Chipley (Angarano), a young misfit who always has wanted to be a hero, enthusiastically seeking to enlist with the Marines, only to be turned down each year. However, Staff Sgt Jenkins, a well-meaning, fatherly type, takes pity on Ned, offering him a “position” as a civilian watchdog.

Xzibit’s other feature credits include Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant opposite Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes, Sony’s Gridiron Gang opposite Dwayne Johnson and xXx: State of the Union opposite Ice Cube and Samuel L. Jackson for Columbia. He also recurred on CBS’ Hawaii Five-O and starred in Nat Geo’s Emmy-nominated telefilm SEAL Team Six. He’s repped by Primary Wave and Don Buchwald & Associates.