While relying on biography to invigorate his raps a decade distant from the street life might be unrealistic, when his music was at its most fascinating, his willingness to wrestle with the moral dimension of his experiences helped streamline his music, giving it verisimilitude that felt in short supply in the cutthroat world of street rap. It gave some of the more plain moments an impassioned purpose, which allowed the listener to ignore hip-hop’s cult of Bangers. It also helped sand down the rough edges on a musical level; while Jeezy’s monolithic sound could sweep up listeners in its pure, epic, and totalitarian vision, T.I. was always too flawed, too self-aware to go for those sorts of transparent theatrics. This made for compelling rap music when his story was central. But when the only story is the one arguing for your own relevance, you end up with a lot of sound and fury.