Yes. I did more research than I ever wanted to and saw some things I wish I didn't. I went on ride-alongs, spent time with Homicide, Cold Case, and SVU detectives, hung out in subways learning how to spot pervs and pick-pockets, viewed an autopsy, went to a police firing range, and witnessed court cases and I read, read, read.
If you only believe that you're an artist when you have a big advance in your pocket and a single coming out, I would say that's quite soulless. You have to have a sense of your own greatness and your own ability from a very deep place inside you. I am the one with the litmus test in my hands of what people need to hear next.