Serbi Serbi

Infobox Single |
Name = Serbi Serbi


Artist = Khaled
from Album = N'ssi N'ssi
Released = 1993
Format = CD
Recorded = 1993
Genre = Rai
Length = 8:47
Label = Barclay
Producer = Don Was
Last single = "Ne m'en voulez pas"
(1992)
This single = "Serbi Serbi"
(1993)
Next single = "Chebba"
(1993)
"Serbi Serbi'" is a single from Khaled's album "N'ssi N'ssi". "Serbi Serbi" means "Pour me, pour me" in Khaled's native Arabic dialect.

In December, 2004, Khaled came to Los Angeles to put the final touches on the U.S.release of his album Ya Rayi. He sat down with Banning Eyre and Sean Barlow for alengthy interview, over three hours of thoughts and recollections. As a mid-summerfeature, hot on the heels of the Khaled and Friends tour, here follows a part of the interview:

BE: This is interesting. In the beginning, you are songs were very much identifiedwith freedom, including the freedom to drink.

Khaled: No. No, truthfully, and Arabic, my language, it’s not like a European orAmerican language. No. When one says drinking in Arabic, what is beautiful is thatthis means to drink life. I am drunk with life. And in French we say intoxicated withlove. When I’m in love, I am drunk, intoxicated. You see what I’m saying?

BE: You mean you are using language in a poetic way, like in Arabic poetry.

Khaled: Yes. We always talk about that. But when a European or an Americansings about drinking, they are singing about alcohol. For us it is a metaphor. Even inmy songs. Like in the song “Serbi Serbi.” We were just talking about that song. In“Serbi Serbi,” I’m talking with a server. I’m in love. The woman I love has left.What can I do? I take medicine. But there are some who have been poisoned. It’sthe same thing: medicine, alcohol—it’s poison. So I say, what can I find to relievethe pain? I am at a bar, and I’m talking to the server, and I’m saying, “Serve me.Give me what I crave. Just to the point where I die.” Because I am sick. But thesame time, I sing, “Serve me, because today I must get drunk,” but happily, there issomething that pulls on all of us Muslims, and that is respect for our mothers. So, atthe same time, I sing, “Happily, my mother is waiting for me.” That’s a revelation. Itwakes me up. I sing, “Drink, drink,” but after a moment I say, “Ah, no. There is alimit.”

BE: And all that is in the song?

Khaled: Yes, I sing that. In all my songs I sing that. Whenever I sing about alcohol,in all my songs, I also talk about my mother, and as I am married, my two daughters.I say, “There are my girls. They must eat.” They mustn’t see me like this, becausethey will copy me. Children are what? They are influenced by their parents. If theysee Papa drinking at home, they will drink. When they see someone who smokes athome, they will be influenced. In order to become big, like an adult, you have tosmoke.

BE: Khaled, listening to talk about this, I have the impression that maybe you are abit misunderstood by people.

Khaled: No. I would not accept that word. Not misunderstood. It’s just that wehaven’t often had the opportunity to ask these questions. And more than that, for me,I haven’t always wanted to answer these questions. You know why? Because for me,in the eyes of Europeans, or Americans, above all they think, “He is happy.” And thatgives me the image that I want to give to Europeans. And it is true. For Europeansand Americans, when you say, “Khaled is a Muslim, and he sings about alcohol.That’s beautiful. For a Muslim to sing about alcohol. Maybe I should see hiscountry.” They won’t find my country to be like Iran or Saudi Arabia. Because Ididn’t grow up like that. No. And that’s why I never wanted to talk about this,because of people see me is happy, I think that’s good. Because I want people to feelwelcome to come and see where I come from. Come. Come, see what it’s like withme, what is happening. When you come to my home, one European comes to visit,he’s going to drink more than he drank at home. He drinks more than he drank athome!

BE: But I understand that you yourself stopped drinking.

Khaled: Because that was my choice. I don’t want to influence people. I don’t wantto be a fundamentalist. That’s it. It’s the same thing. When you talk about alcoholand religion altogether, that’s fundamentalism. That’s for fanatics. I am not a fanatic.I made my choice for myself, for me. I said, “No alcohol. Stop. Stop.” Why?Because when I was young, my father drank, my father smoked, and all of myentourage, I started taking up cigarettes because I was influenced. I tried alcoholbecause I wanted to taste what my father had tasted. You see? So why did I stopalcohol now? Because I have my daughters, and I don’t want my daughters to beinfluenced by me. I don’t want that. Because they will copy me. And about mysongs. I don’t sing hate. I don’t sing politics. I don’t sing songs I tell people to goattack those terrorists or perhaps these other ones are not good. I don’t say, “Wake upand start a civil war.” I could say that. I could. Like Bob Marley and others whosang about politics, pure and tough. Those are artists and they can do it they want.That’s their right. I respect that. Everyone has their manner of singing. Everyonehas their way of passing the message. I respect that, even if I don’t like it. Respectedanyway. Because there are people who say they don’t like what I say. But I wantedto respect me. That’s why I respect them. For example, there is a group in Francewho sing in their shows about the police. “They are evil. Let’s go get them.”Between you and me, who likes the police? Nobody. I agree completely. But if wedidn’t have police in our cities, we would not be protected. Even if we don’t likethem, we need them. We need police. You see what I’m saying? Even if you areattacked, and you call out, “Help me!” and they come, but they come late, it’s OK.You need police in the city to keep order. When I was young and I went to the movietheater, I saw, for example, Bruce Lee. At the time, was 12, 14 years old. I went tothe cinema, and that marked me. That marked me. I went to the cinema, and I sawBruce Lee: Waaaaaaah!! At the end of the movie, I went out of the theater, andstarted hitting all my friends. Yaaaaaaa! I was hitting everybody. Because I saw thatand I wanted to do like him. People will do what they see and hear artists doing.That is why I don’t want to pass a message that is not good. I don’t want to influencepeople.

Track listings

Version 1

#"Serbi Serbi" (3:51)
#"Kebou" (Remix) (4:56) "Ethnic Mix"

Version 2

#"Serbi Serbi" (3:47)
#"Kebou" (Ethnic Mix) (4:56)
#"Ragda" (3:48)
#"Didi" (Oasi Gimmick Version) (Radio Edit) (4:13)

External links

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