In the YouTube age, covers are a tried and true way to get attention: Alessia Cara, for example, first earned notice with her covers, and she still busts out new renditions of other people's hits on a regular basis. The acoustic cover is a special subset of the genre, where a performer attempts to strip a song down to find a hard truth hidden at its core.
BJ The Chicago Kid's previous covers—an impressive full-band tribute to James Brown, a solid bit of Aaliyah karaoke—have not been of the acoustic variety. Yesterday he unveiled a bare-bones version of Blackstreet's "Before I Let You Go," which first came out in 1994. (It's the vocal group's biggest hit outside of the Dr. Dre-assisted "No Diggity.")
The original is full of the syrupy production that characterized crossover ballads at the time. BJ sings the tune with help from a lone guitarist, dispensing with any special effects. Funnily enough, it still sounds like it could've come out in the '90s, when acoustic guitar&B was very popular: songs from Babyface, Usher, R.Kelly, and Tony Rich often took this form.