In 1997, a Japanese band called M-Flo was formed. Its initial lineup featured three people, MC Verbal, DJ Taku Takahashi, and a vocalist Lisa. In 2002, Lisa left the band to pursue a solo career. After that, the remaining members launched a project M-Flo Loves. They invited different vocalists for recording the albums. The musicians worked with such artists as Koda Kumi, Bonnie Pink, and BoA. M-Flo is one of the most popular hip-hop bands in Japan.
Both Taku and Verbal had side projects, among which were Global Astro Alliance and Teriyaki Boyz. They collaborated with such famous producers and artists as Beastie Boys and Kanye West.
The musicians met when they were attending the same school in Tokyo. They were part of the local band NMD and performed at dance parties. After school, Verbal enrolled in Boston College. Then he attended Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary. Takahashi went to get an education in Los Angeles. Both spoke English freely, which helped the band write songs for the English-speaking audience.
Upon returning to Japan, the two friends formed a duo and started performing at nightclubs and on local TV, trying hard to attract a label. In 1998, Takahashi met the director of Artimage Japan. He offered the musicians to record a cover of the single "The Way We Were" by Barbara Streisand, using Verbal’s rapping skills.
After the single was recorded, the duo decided to invite a female vocalist. They chose their friend Lisa. At that time, she was working on a solo career under the pseudonym Unika and performing with underground music projects.
The band signed a contract with Rhythm Zone and released an EP called The Tripod. The album featured two songs, the re-recorded "Been So Long" and a new track, "Flo Jack". The EP came out in 1999 and reached the 7th spot of the national Japanese chart, Oricon.
In 2000, the group presented its first LP, Planet Shining. It came in 6th on the Oricon Charts. After the album came out, many fans wanted to book M-Flo for private events.
Soon, the artists recorded a new single, "How You Like Me Now?" for the next album. It earned gold status in Japan. The album, Expo Expo, came out in 2001. To promote it, the band embarked on a tour of Japan. A year later, Lisa left the band. Numerous disagreements with the other members seemed to be the reason.
After a small hiatus, during which Takahashi and Verbal worked on the side projects, M-Flo released a compilation-collaboration album, Sotoshigoto: M-Flo Turns It Out! It reached the 30th spot on the chart.
Inspired by The Neptunes, the musicians decided to release several songs with an R&B singer, Crystal Kay. Two tracks made it to the top-10 of the charts. One of them became Kay’s most sold single.
While working on the new album, Astromantic, M-Flo worked with many famous musicians from Japan, who played pop, jazz, electronic music, and R&B. The album came in second on the Oricon chart and earned gold status.
The next album came out in 2005. The artists called it Beat Space Nine. The LP featured a heavier electronic sound than the predecessors. To record it, the artists invited Japanese singers, Akiko Wada and Kahimi Karie.
In 2007, the group released an album, Cosmicolor. To record it, Taku and Verbal invited Kumi Koda, Snacky Chan, Namie Amuro, and Bonnie Pink.
In 2008, the band announced a short hiatus, during which each of the members worked on side projects. During that period, they released a compilation album and celebrated the band’s 10th anniversary in Tokyo.
In 2012, M-Flo released the new LP, Square One. It was their first release in 5 years. A year later, they presented the next album, Neven, which featured such hits as "Tonite", "Lover", and "Transformerz".
At the end of 2017, Lisa decided to rejoin the group. Together the artists released a new EP, The Tripod EP 2.
The group continues recording new hits and performs live.