'03 Bonnie And Clyde
by Jay-Z (featuring Beyoncé)

Album: Blueprint 2: The Gift And The Curse (2002)
Charted: 2 4


  • This is based on a 1996 song by Tupac called "Me And My Girlfriend." On Tupac's song, his "girlfriend" is his gun, but in "'03 Bonnie And Clyde," Jay-Z makes the girlfriend literal.
  • Bonnie and Clyde were Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. They went on a crime spree in 1932, committing several robberies and killing an estimated 13 people along the way. After a famous manhunt, they were killed by police in 1934. Their story was made into a movie in 1967 starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. The film glorified their story and created the image of Bonnie and Clyde as a romantic couple rebelling from authority, roles Jay-Z and Beyoncé inhabit in this song.
  • This was the first musical collaboration between Beyoncé and Jay-Z. She was the most prominent member of the group Destiny's Child and was getting ready for a solo album after playing Foxxy Cleopatra in the movie Austin Powers in Goldmember. Kelly Rowland became the first member of Destiny's Child to have a hit outside the group when she teamed up with Nelly for the song "Dilemma," which went to #1 in August 2002. "'03 Bonnie And Clyde" reached its chart peak of #4 in December 2002 (yes, "'03 Bonnie And Clyde" was actually released in '02).

    Joining an established rap star was a great way to launch a solo career at the time, as the airways were flooded with hits featuring a male rapper doing the verses and a female singer coming in for the hook. Most of these involved either Ja Rule or Ashanti.
  • Beyoncé and Jay-Z were a real couple at the time, although they kept coy about their relationship. Over the next few years, they were seen in public more and more, and it became apparent they were an item. This song marks the first clues that they are dating, as Jay declares them "the new Bobby and Whitney" (referring to the happier times of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston's love affair) and raps, "Only time we don't speak is during Sex and the City."
  • The chorus lyrics:

    All I need in this life, you see
    Is me and my girlfriend

    Come from Mariah Carey's 1999 song "How Much," which is also based on Tupac's "Me And My Girlfriend." In Tupac's song, it's:

    All I need in this life of sin
    Is me and my girlfriend
    Down to ride to the bloody end
    Just me and my girlfriend
  • In the bridge, Beyoncé sings some of the Prince song "If I Was Your Girlfriend":

    If I was your girlfriend
    I'll be there for you if somebody hurts you
    Even if the somebody was me

    The Prince song was a modest hit back in 1987, so many of Beyoncé's fans didn't know she lifted it.
  • This was produced by Kanye West, who was an in-house producer at Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records at the time. His first solo album came out in 2004.
  • Directed by Chris Robinson, most of the video was filmed in Tijuana using a real Mexican police force. It stars Johnathon Schaech, known for his roles in DC's Legends of Tomorrow and That Thing You Do!, and Lance Reddick, who's role as a cop wasn't a stretch: at the time he was playing Lt. Cedric Daniels in The Wire.
  • The only songwriters officially credited on this track are Prince and the four writers on Tupac's "Me And My Girlfriend": Darrell Harper, Rick Rouse, Tupac Shakur, Tyrone Wrice.
  • At the time, Jay-Z was beefing with Nas, who released his song "Made You Look" around the same time. His song takes some cracks at Jay-Z, calling him "a slave to a page in my rhyme book."

Comments: 11

  • Maylis from Brussels The part from Prince If I was your girlfriend... was also in a TLC song
  • Jason Daniel Contreras from Detroit, Michigan I've been in conspiracy about this song for awhile now, my theory is that Beyonce and Jay z had something to do with Aaliyahs death back in 2001. The video shows us that they've pulled some sort of crime together at least Beyonce did, so they fled south to Mexico and still til this day escaped the police and punishment for them murders. Look at what Beyonce's career, she was nothing without Destiny Childs until she copied aaliyah career, her dances, the motorcycle, etc, Beyonce is a fraud. Beyonce couldn't handle competition very well so instead of competing against it she wiped it out of existence. Also Illuminati killed her but had Beyonce sabotage the plane, listen to her last music video backwards and it says who killed her and why. Rock the boat backwards.
  • Tameka Simmons from St.louismo., MoAnother thing is I think B'and Jay honestly expressed they're love for one another through the song.They gave a message to one another and obviously showed a real couple side,which made
    something amazin' glow.
  • Diane from Brooklyn, NyI'm okay with samples, provided that the sample is more than just sped up and rapped over. For instance, I personally loved Kanye West's song "Impossible" for the MI:3 soundtrack. It's a good sample and the remake is hot.
  • Stacey from Nowra, Australiachanged my mind i think its just about how they are a couple together forever like bonnie and clyde
  • Stacey from Nowra, Australiaagree wit luana and natasha eminem often talks about clyde mathers and bonnie jade
  • Casey from Toronto, CanadaTLC also re-made Princes' song
  • Lawrence from SingaporeIt hell isn't
  • Natasha from Bethany, Oki thought that the song title was probably based on the Eminem song.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhStolen name, stolen song, stolen lyrics. Can rappers come up with anything original nowadays?
  • Luana from Perth, Australiaeminem recorded a song called 97 bonnie and clyde, on the "slim shady LP" (1999)
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Laura Nyro

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Bill Withers

Bill WithersSongwriter Interviews

Soul music legend Bill Withers on how life experience and the company you keep leads to classic songs like "Lean On Me."

Millie Jackson

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.

Guy Clark

Guy ClarkSongwriter Interviews

Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

Todd Rundgren

Todd RundgrenSongwriter Interviews

Todd Rundgren explains why he avoids "Hello It's Me," and what it was like producing Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.