It was formed in 1990 by Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field with financial support from Atlantic Records (which owned a 53% stock in the label). Upon its creation, it was initially distributed by Atlantic Records' subsidiary East West Records America. A&R Executive John McClain and producer Beau Hill were also part of the original founding team.

The label's first release was Latin-rapper Gerardo, who scored a top 5, gold hit with "Rico Suave" in the spring of 1991. More early success came later in the year when the label released the debut album from Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, which went platinum in early 1992. During this time, Interscope also signed rapper Tupac Shakur, Primus, No Doubt and Nine Inch Nails.

Rise Against, Blink 182, Brand New, AFI, Escape The Fate, No Doubt, Angels & Airwaves, Blaqk Audio, Jimmy Eat World, Jawbreaker, Black Tide

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