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I don’t know what it is about the warm weather that has me adding all my favorite 90’s songs to multiple playlists but it happens every year. At any given moment you’re likely to hear The Fresh Prince, En Vogue, or LL Cool J blasting through my speakers. And it was my latest road trip that inspired this post. Listening to LL and singing in my best high pitch voice “you got me shook up, shook down, shook out, onnnnn your loving” got me thinking…who else was an around the way girl “back in the day”? Raises hand and don’t judge me. Here are 5 signs you were too.

1. Your fashion sense was always trendy and extra bold.
At least two packs of extensions? Yes girl. And they had to come down to the waist at least. Janet Jackson in Poetic Justice style. If your hairstyles were always extra and bamboo earrings were the only earrings you acknowledged, you were with me in the around the way girl crew.

2. You were a delicate mix of ratchet and classy.

Okay so I know ratchet wasn’t technically a phrase back then but you know what I mean. “She can walk with a switch and talk with street slang”. And don’t forget “she” had the designer bag in tow.Whether you were the girl who could quote Maya in the same sentence as the Queen (Latifah of course) or you were the best dressed girl at the bus stop, we definitely could have been friends.

3. You loved Hip Hop.
That sounds real- Brown Sugar - “when did you fall in love with hip hop”-like but it’s true. You heard LL, “she likes to dance to the rap jams”. Around the way girls grew up on Hip Hop and we’re fully aware that the 90’s was still the best decade for music hands down. No debates!

4. You were the original beauty guru.
Oh if YouTube was out when we were slicking down our baby hair and our lipgloss was popping. The tutorials would have been everything! Around the way girls were the original trendsetters. Why else do you think every other season one of our styles is “the hot new trend” (side eye). But if you were switching your hairstyles like outfits, rocking brown lips topped with gloss before it was “cool” well…you might have been an around the way girl.

5. You weren’t afraid to be yourself.
One of my favorite lyrics is right in the beginning. “I love it when a woman ain’t scared to do her thing”. There’s something to be said for a woman who isn’t afraid to be her. Whether you can relate to any other number on this or not, if you weren’t afraid to “do you boo” you’re a part of the around the way girl club. Welcome sis.

“Lisa, Angela, Pamela, Renee, I love you. You’re from around the way.”