Vibe Revisits Article That Spawned Fast & Furious Franchise

"Racer X" was written by Kenneth Li, now editor-in-chief of Re/code.

Forget about Furious 7 critics’ reviews, which at this point are about as relevant to the franchise as the laws of gravity. Instead, be sure to bookmark and read this URL before taking in the latest installment.

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Per Washington Post blogger Emily Yahr, the May 1998 freelance piece by Kenneth Li that started it all has been retrieved from the archives by Vibe magazine. From her look-back:

While working as a reporter for the New York Daily News, Li was intrigued when he spotted the street-racing culture in Queens while visiting an auto shop. Growing up car-free in New York City, he had never seen anything like it. “I was completely fascinated,” Li said. “It snowballed from there.”

Li wrote a story about the street-racing world for the Daily News, but pitched another, longer feature about the “underground” aspects to Vibe. It ended up being a compelling read focused on a racer named Rafael Estevez.

Li, now the editor-in-chief of Re/code, will apparently be featured again next week in the pages of Vibe. But he-Yahr don’t specify exactly how. Stay tuned.
 
[Image courtesy: Universal Pictures]