"It's like a meteorite flow" says Verbal of his group's name. "I spelled it 'mediarite' because I thought we would hit with a big impact in the media and surprise the unsuspecting masses with some good music. I think it worked better than I anticipated."

m-flo, the combination of DJ Taku Takahashi and rapper Young-Kee Yu, better known as Verbal, have become one of Japan's premier hip-hop production teams over the past 10 years. They're also the go-to collaborators for a string of the nation's leading pop vocalists.

Verbal spoke to The Japan Times at a recording studio in Tokyo's teen-culture mecca of Shibuya, ahead of m-flo's upcoming live double header at Tokyo's Yoyogi National Stadium on Nov. 14-15.