By Erika Ramirez, with additional reporting by Hillary Crosley
It appears that one more hip-hop site has fallen victim to the hands of Department of Homeland Security. On Monday (January 24), many in hip-hop realized that the website WorldStarHipHop was no longer accessible in their Internet browser. Rumor quickly spread that the rap video site was seized by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) and Homeland Security Investigations. But the World Star Hip-Hop camp says things aren't how they appear.
"WorldStar was not shut down due to Homeland Security or ICE, the site is just experiencing technical difficulties," Miatta David, representative for the site, told MTV News. "It's just an overload on the site due to traffic."
One of the few differences between today’s seizure of WSHH and those of the hip-hop sites from late November 2010 is the public’s reaction. While the consensus was shocked and heartbroken at the seizure of sites as Dajaz1, RapGodFathers, and OnSmash — who recently returned to the ‘net as FreeOnsmash.com — reactions of WSHH seizure vary from nonchalance to excitement.
50 Cent was one of the first to respond via Twitter, claiming he "shut down" World Star Hip-hop and more. The rapper's comments come after he reported file a lawsuit against the website for using his likeness in 2009.
"I don’t know why people underestimate me. I just shut down WorldStar. For future advertising contact thisis50.com suckers," he tweeted. "I put WorldStar to bed, you don’t believe try me and I will shut your sh-- down. Lol. I predict two more web sites will shut down this week. Take a guess who they are. I’m sick of the hate. I’m too strong."
WorldStar's founder Lee "Q" O'Denat, who's offices are based in New York and Los Angeles, told MTV News in response to Fif's taunts that "We didn't get the memo that 50 shut us down ... "
50 Cent continued, "Me and @FloydMayweather don’t’ think WorldStar was [a] good representation of black people as a whole. We will present better. I want to thank Howard Gordon and the good folks over at homeland. hahaha suckers your move."
RapFix turned to the hard streets of Twitter for reactions, lightly edited for grammar and content as with 50’s, on the seizure of WorldStarHipHop.
"WorldStar will be back once their GODaddy payment clears," @InfNYC joked.
"With WorldStarHipHop shut down, what platform will fledgling overweight bedroom strippers use to gain their much deserved fame?” Damien Lemon tweeted.
"WorldStarHipHop got shut down… where am I gonna watch people get beat up at IHOP now?” @Skighwalker tweeted.
"Ain’t going to lie #WorldStarHipHop had some crazy videos. I saw a murder take place on one!" Dorian Coney said.
However, Jasmine (@JasFly) tweeted on the bigger issue, saying "While I do take issue with WSHH and it’s content, I take a bigger issue with these government seizures of public domains."
What are your thoughts on the seizure of hip-hop site, World Star Hip-Hop? Tweet us at @MTVRapFix or tell us in a comment below!