By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated June 27, 2007 at 11:08 PM EDT

The last couple of months have been full of highs and lows for the for-profit entity known as 50 Cent. In May, his new album Curtis was unceremoniously bumped from its announced June release date to one in September after two singles failed to gain chart traction. Then, a few weeks back, the rapper scored an estimated $100 million windfall when Coca-Cola purchased beverage corporation Glaceau, in which he’d held a tasty share. The latest chapter in 50’s ongoing saga came just last night at the 2007 BET Awards, where he performed his not-quite-hit single “Amusement Park” — and, some gossip sites are claiming, was caught lip-synching on stage. Online tattlers Media Take Out provide a particularly colorful account of the story, complete with G-Unit crony Tony Yayo filling the awkward post-slip-up silence by “screaming expletives into the microphone.” (This is different from Tony Yayo performing one of his songs, how?) Even better, they offer hard evidence in the form of a YouTube clip which they say proves 50’s sin beyond any doubt. Or does it? Watch the tape for yourself and check back with us after the jump.

Well, I’ve watched the clip a few times now, and I’ve gotta say the jury’s still out on this one. It’s certainly not looking good for 50 — that’s one seriously uncomfortable pause when the lyrics of the hook cut out, and the sound throughout does sound suspiciously similar to the recorded song. Then again, who’s to tell where the audio file backing this random viral video came from or how it was or wasn’t edited before being uploaded? The key would-be smoking-gun moment comes at about 45 seconds into the clip, and it’s just too rushed and blurry to tell for sure whether or not “50’s lips KEPT MOVING!!!”, as the on-screen supertitles helpfully suggest. Besides, I don’t see this story having much legs. 50’s credibility at this point isn’t really dependent on his ability to rock a live show without a backing track, and I can’t imagine that anyone who was planning on buying Curtis will be dissuaded by this.

So, PopWatchers, what do you see in that grainy video? (Was there a second lip-syncher on the grassy knoll?) Do you even care if 50 Cent lip-synchs his lyrics?