(01/24 – 9:00 pm EST) UPDATE: Hours after rival 50 Cent claimed he had the domain name seized, WorldStarHipHop.com is back online. In the midst of the popular Hip Hop site being offline, 50 Cent posted a series of Twitter messages claiming he was responsible for the outage. After various sources began reporting 50 reported the site to the Department of Homeland Security and/or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, he backed away from his previous statements.

“I didn’t shut them down,” 50 said. “If I rob a bank I wouldn’t tell you I did…maybe I did. It’s up to the public to decide.”

Shortly afterward, the site’s CEO/Owner, Q, called in to Hot 97 and blamed the outage on a server and other technical issues.

The always-controversial 50 Cent is claiming responsibility for having the domain name WorldStarHipHop.com seized. In 2009, 50 was involved in a spat with WorldStar, after he filed a copyright infringement suit against the site, which directly competes with his own site, ThisIs50, and a number of other Hip Hop sites and blogs. During a 2009 interview with Atlanta’s DJ Greg Street, 50 said he hoped to tie WorldStar up in litigation long enough to make winning the battle irrelevant.

“I got a lawsuit against WorldStar for utilizing my likeness,” 50 Cent said. “A lot of people thought that was my site because they saw my face on the cover of an infringement with iRobot for a long time. They should really be nice to me, because I have lawyers and retainers. I pay them so much anyway that we’ll just go back and forth in court until you can’t afford a Subway sandwich.”

In the interest of full disclosure, a number of sites including HipHopDX have taken exception to WorldStarHipHop’s practice of taking videos without permission through a process called “stream ripping.” A stream ripper allows competing sites such as WorldStarHipHop to take a raw video from another sites video player and put it into their own. When the Department of Homeland Security and/or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement seize a website for copyright infringement, both offices usually place images of their logo on the site’s homepage.

At press time, there were no images to confirm that either office was involved in WorldStarHipHop being taken offline. However, 50 Cent sent out a series of messages via Twitter taking credit.

I don’t know why people underestimate me. I just shut down WORLDSTAR for future advertising contact thisis50.com suckers lol38 minutes ago via ÜberTwitter

“You learn because I’ve been in circumstance where I’ve sat through depositions and I’ve been sued for different reasons,” 50 added during his 2009 interview with Greg Street. “I understand the process now and I write that expense off as the price of business…it’s already too late.”