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50 Cent Instagram
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What does this 50 Cent Instagram really say?

‘Times are hard out here LMAO’ – What does Fiddy mean by this, stood next to a Smart car?

You get the feeling that were you to sit down for a drink with Fiddy, he may stare off into the distance if you dared talk about anything else. "Yeah, yeah, yeah", he might say, while you opened up about your relationship issues. "But quit bitching. Let’s get back to money."

The man who once had a conversation with champion boxer Floyd "Money" Mayweather in a Las Vegas hotel room using phones made out of – you guessed it – money, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday despite a successful career in hip-hop, despite Coca Cola buying a vitamin water company he had a stake in, despite once being videoed putting endless slabs of cash under the bonnet of a Lamborghini. 

Days earlier, 50 Cent had been ordered by a judge to pay $5 million to Lastonia Leviston, Rick Ross’ ex-girlfriend, after being accused of acquiring a sex tape made by Leviston and her boyfriend, putting his own commentary over it while wearing a wig and then posting it online in a bid to embarrass The Bawse.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of broke jokes (see Thrifty Cent, 50 Spent), so in the midst of all this "bankruptcy banter", what was happening on 50’s Instagram? Let me tell you, over there it’s business as usual. It’s press shots of Effen vodka, his own alcohol brand, it’s "squad goals" photos with his friends (including Chris Brown) and it’s a picture of himself smiling next to a Smart car, captioned with:

Times are hard out here LMAO

The Instagram predictably spawned a million "50 Cent has the most hilarious response to his bankruptcy" articles. But what’s really going on here? Let’s start with the night-blue Smart car Fiddy’s posing in front of. By being pictured in front of a Smart car, the least braggadocious of all the vehicles, 50 is displaying a particular brand of self-awareness called faux-faux-humility. He knows everyone has been laughing at him and now he’s laughing at you. He’s pleased you’ve failed, just like you were him. This is a merry-go-round of misery isn’t it? You fell for it, he’s saying.

Times are hard out here LMAO

Affixed to the numberplate – presumably for security reasons – is a .jpg of a banner that reads "Oh Oh!" He could have just blacked this out – there’s no doubt that this means something significant. But what? Is it surprise at being photographed, caught next to a Smart car, the tiniest and simplest of all roadsters? It could be the sound of Fiddy’s celebratory antics as he hollers ‘Ohs’ around the car park, rejoicing in their echoes and the reverberations of his special "I’m not actually bankrupt" banshee howl. Or maybe the "Ohs" are yours. The first one an "Oh" of surprise, the second one of recognition. You get it now – Fiddy’s fine.

Times are hard out here LMAO

Or maybe – and this is the most worrying of all scenarios – that despite a slew of articles praising 50’s humour in the face of having loads of money, things are actually hard out there, not everything is OK and this is a genuine cry for help. You couldn’t comfortably describe his expression as a smile, could you?

Maybe Fiddy’s sorry about wearing that wig and adding a voiceover to someone else’s sex tape and he’s not Laughing My Ass Off at all. Maybe the acronym means something else entirely – Let’s Make Amends OK?