Of course, like most retirements, Hov's didn't last, and three years later, he was back with Kingdom Come. But at the time, Jay was adamant that he was hanging up his jersey, and fittingly, he decided it was time to take a victory lap ... in the form of a massive U.S. tour dubbed Rock The Mic.
On the trek, Jay was joined by a rotating cast of stars, including 50 Cent, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and Snoop Dogg ... though it was clear from the onset that he would be headlining, and as such, he rolled out to each show in style, aboard a tricked-out tour bus. And at an early tour stop in Ohio, he took MTV News along for a ride, making sure to point out his ample selection of cereals and the fact that, on most nights, he actually didn't sleep on the bus (he prefers hotels, after all).
Oh, and since this particular show happened in Ohio, you know that Jay had local legend LeBron James on hand ... though at the time, he was just 19, and had yet to ascend to the throne. But still, game recognizes game, and LJ was there to pay tribute to the reigning royalty.
Ten years later, LeBron is a two-time NBA champ (and a four-time MVP), and Jay has just released Magna Carta Holy Grail ... and, thankfully, neither is talking about retirement. So in celebration of that fact, let's go back to those uncertain times, before each man realized their greatness, and we were all preparing for a world without Jay. Here's a look at his life on the road; from his closet to his bedroom. Oh, and the bathroom, too. But as you'll learn, use it at your own peril.