Update: After several hours, it appears as if WorldStarHipHop is back up and online.
The hip hop webosphere is ablaze with talk that WorldStarHipHop.com, one of the world’s most trafficked websites, has been shut down, possibly another site confiscated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, who has recently struck fatal blows to many websites as part of an ongoing attack on copyright infringement.
WorldStarHipHop.com has gained in popularity in recent years as one of the more thorough video aggregation sites on the web. Music videos, re-purposed news videos and user-submitted footage all helped make the site an almost-daily destination for millions of web visitors.
In an interesting twist to the alleged shutdown, hip hop mogul 50 Cent initially claimed some sort of responsibility for the event, perhaps in retaliation for an earlier lawsuit allegation, where 50 Cent claimed the site used his image without permission. Soon after WSHH went offline, 50 Cent twittered, “I put worldstar to bed, you don’t believe try me I will shut your sh*t down. Lol,” this according to NewsOne. Later in the afternoon, he spoke with Hot 97, telling Angie Martinez, “They’re being put to bed as we speak,” though he deflected actual responsibility. Q, CEO of WorldStarHipHop.com, also called in, claiming the real issues are simply technical, blaming overloaded servers.
50 Cent on Hot 97
Q, CEO of WorldStarHipHop responds
It remains to be seen if the site being offline is indeed the work of the feds, whether 50 Cent had something to do with it, or perhaps due to some other cause. So far, the site is simply offline, with no splash page denoting a government seizure, a la OnSmash or RapGodfathers, other prominent hip hop websites that had previously been shut down.
UPDATE: As of 9 p.m. EST, the site seems to be back on, at least partially, struggling a bit to load content, but up nonetheless.