The Root Recommends: Mayer Hawthorne

An artist reintroduces soul with a hip-hop flair.

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Soul crooner Mayer Hawthorne has quickly become a heavy contender among the newest group of artists looking to resuscitate R&B. Taking cues from Curtis Mayfield, Al Green and others, Hawthorne's raw and expressive style has garnered praise from a slew of household hip-hop superstars, including Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. The Motown- and Stax-inspired artist also blends hip-hop elements into his musical approach, citing artists J Dilla and Santogold as inspiration.

Hawthorne released his debut LP, A Strange Arrangement, in 2009. Recently signed to Universal Republic, the 32-year-old crooner will release his sophomore album How Do You Do later this year.

Previous recommendation: 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.'

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