On Saturday, Noise11 reported that Mr. Probz' "Waves" has moved into the top 10 of the British music charts, placing it currently on the 8th overall position. Mr. Probz has also been making waves in the States, after being featured on the track "Twisted," with 50 Cent. Mr. Probz' collaboration on the track will be featured on 50 Cents new album "Animal Ambition," which is scheduled to be released in June. Hiphopdx reported on Saturday that 50 Cent has already sold out the $5,000 album bundles that he is offering via his website. Besides getting 5 special edition copies of the new album, bundle purchaser' will also be hanging out with 50 Cent in his Connecticut mansion.
On Thursday night, Dennis Stehr better known as Mr. Probz, won Funx Music Awards (FMA) for "Best Vocals" and "Best Track" for his international recognized hit record "Waves". Stehr is an artists that wears many hats and has proven that it is very difficult too place him into one specific category. Many people know of his work as a singer, but he is also a skilled rapper, songwriter, producer and actor. After producing a laundry list of hits, in Dutch as well as in English, Stehr has refused offers to sign with big record labels. As an independent artist, he feels that he is able to build his own career from the ground up, without any outside interference.
"I think outside of the box. I don't ask myself: Why is this happening to me again? I ask myself: Why is this happening? That's when I formulate a plan, which has allowed me too improve my situation. [Last year] I lost everything," said Stehr at the FMA's.
From Rags to Riches
In 2010, Stehr reached a milestone as an artist, when the Dutch song "Meisje Luister" reached the number 1 spot on the Funx Hip-Hop charts. Stehr had worked on the track with Dutch rapper Kleine Viezerik. The track was released 6-months after Stehr had been shot down in Amsterdam, after trying to break up a fight. The fight started after one of Stehr's friends accidentally bumped into another individual.
This wasn't the first time that Stehr had stared death in the face. When he was 18-years-old, a piece of metal from a power tool shot lose and lodged into his forehead. He has also fallen from a two story building, has been in a number of car accidents, shoot-outs and knife-fights. Last Spring, Stehr woke-up in the middle of the night and realized that he was engulfed by flames. The fire destroyed his house, all of his belongings and his home study.
"I am knowing. I have seen so many miracles, that it would be weird if I didn't believe [in God]. Look at what I've survived. It is impossible that it was by chance or coincidence," said Stehr during an interview with Nu.nl. After Stehr realized that his house was on fire, he jumped out of a window. The only possession that Stehr was left with after the smoke cleared was his passport.
Institutional Racism in the Netherlands
Stehr is a Dutch national but is ethnically Danish and Antillean, which makes him a "allochtoon". The Dutch government classifies its residence as "autochtoon" or "allochtoon". An individual is classified as a "autochtoon" if both of their parents were born in the Netherlands, regardless of the child's country of birth. An individual is classified as "allochtoon" if one of the parents was born outside of the Netherlands, even if the child was born in the Netherlands. Stehr is seen by the Dutch government as a "allochtoon," because one of his parents originates from the former Netherlands Antilles.
Reporting of ethnicity by the Dutch Media
It has become common practice by the Dutch media too state a persons governmental classification. When the news is negative, it is common for the Dutch news outlets to mention the individuals ethnicity, which often times is done when it is suspected that the person is of non-Western origin. With all of Stehr's international success, he is no longer reported as being a "allochtoon," but as being Dutch.
Non-white groups in the Netherlands interpret these types of practices as forms of institutional racism within the Dutch society. When Stehr's was asked about his interpretation of these types of practices, he made it clear that he had too answer carefully. "I need time too digest everything that has happened during this past year. Of course I notice these types of problems [within our society]. But, I don't focus all of my time on these issues. I have to move forward," said Stehr.