The Art Department – While You Were Sleeping ( Free Hip-hop Album)

The Bulawayo based hip-hop trio known as the Art Department has dropped a bomb on Zim Hip-hop again and this time it’s in the form of an album titled While You Were Sleeping. The concept clearly indicates that they were putting in work while their ccompetition was asleep and this is from a broad perspective. The meaning is beyond just the music. Download it below

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They have been awake even in scoring deals and other personal projects. Navy Seal joined Tone Lakeside and Robbie ill-sicker though the project had begun as Navy Seal and the art department. They worked with Alaina in August of 2014 to produce ride with us which had a low budget video shot by Ernest Mackina and Irvene Chimanga (Boss Boi Designs). The video brought them to audiences they didn’t otherwise have and was distributed across mobile phones via whatsapp messenger. The song is also still in rotation across radio station.

Bang was the next record to hit radio after Ride With Us. I personally like Ride With Us more but bang did capture its own crowd and further proved the versatility of the Zim “gangsta” rappers. The three have managed to be convincing though some sections of Hip-hop believe it’s make belief. They say they do this for the love and Bulawayo is indeed infested with a high number of muggings and criminal incidents. Rappers around them like Black Butterfly are doing time for murder and the struggle is real in Northend. Their lyrics however do not glorify murder, rape and struggle but it is indicated.

They also celebrate the success of rising above those obstacles. Like when Navy Seal talks about his family problems and his mother’s illness in “Dreams of A Man”. Those are actual events happening in real time and the album manages to capture those real moments in a way that relates to most peoples struggle with life. So that when you get to the braggadocio parts of each song you appreciate that it is a celebration of overcoming all those things a young black Zimbabwean from a middle class suburb faces in life.

So while you were sleeping they were plotting to take over and this album is the musical representation of what they are expressing in other ways in the real world. It is also an anthology that stands for everyone who dedicates hours at night to be amazing.


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