'97 Bonnie & Clyde

Album: The Slim Shady LP (1999)

Songfacts®:

  • A reworking of the 1997 Slim Shady EP track "Just The Two of Us," this song describes in grisly detail Eminem taking his daughter Hailie to the beach to dispose of his wife Kim's corpse. To add insult to injury he used Hailie's own voice, having brought her to the studio on the pretense of taking her out for a burger. "When (Kim) found out I used our daughter to write a song about killing her, she f---ing blew," Eminem revealed unsurprisingly to NME.
  • Emimen had a rocky relationship with Kim, but a few months after The Slim Shady LP was released the couple got married. Speaking with Q magazine in 1999 after they were wed, Eminem called the song "a joke."

    "I wrote it to get back at Kim, but now the song really don't mean s--t to me," he said. Hailie listens to it but she doesn't understand it yet, and if she hears a cuss word she knows not to repeat it. I feel like I'm starting to grow up a little bit. Me and Kim, we been through our dramas and s--t, but I'd be bald-faced lying if I said I don't love her or I'm with her because of my daughter. I'm with her 'cause I wanna be with her. I love that girl, man. I really do."
  • The song is an epilogue to The Marshall Mathers LP track "Kim," even though it was written first. In "Kim," Eminem raps about the argument that leads to him throwing her in the trunk.
  • "Bonnie & Clyde"'s morbid scenario was also illustrated on The Slim Shady LP album cover.
  • In 2014, John Roberts, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, quoted this song in arguing that free speech should be protected on social media. The case involved a Pennsylvania man named Anthony Elonis, who posted threatening rap lyrics he wrote about his estranged wife on Facebook. Justice was making the point that what Elonis did was protected in the same way Eminem's threats in this are. The lines he quoted to make his case were "Dada make a nice bed for mommy at the bottom of the lake, tie a rope around a rock" and "There goes mama splashing in the water, no more fighting with dad."
  • Tori Amos later covered this on her 2001 concept album Strange Little Girls. "I was attracted to the wife, who was faceless and nameless," Amos told Blender of the song. "Everyone's grooving to this tune, and nobody seemed to care about her."

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