The album began as a street mixtape project; an underground, unofficial CD with raw production values. "But what happened is that the material was so good and the tracks were getting produced like a regular album", Eminem said: "Instead of putting it out there rough and unfinished, I thought we should add some other new tracks, make it a real album, and put it in the record stores to give these new artists a real boost". The album was executive-produced by Eminem, who also produced the majority of the songs. A handful of tracks were produced by The Alchemist, who also compiled the album in mixtape fashion.
Each of the tracks was a new song which debuted on the album, though Stat Quo's "Billion Bucks", produced by LT Moe and Frank-Dawg's "Cry Now" (Remix), produced by SickNotes, were recently released on mixtapes and to radio. The first single and music video from the album is "You Don't Know", performed by Eminem, 50 Cent, Cashis and Lloyd Banks. The second single from the album is "Jimmy Crack Corn", which features 50 Cent (with a vocal mix by Cashis, who is also featured on the single version of the song) and peaked at number one on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.
Rampant misinformation about Eminem Presents: The Re-Up included many false internet track listings and the claim that the mixtape would be a tribute to the late Proof of D12. "The D12 album and those unreleased songs with Proof are coming", said Eminem, "but The Re-Up is about these new artists and these new songs. It isn't fair to them or to the memory of Proof to mix them up".
Eminem revealed in a Shade 45 interview that he had fellow rapper Bizarre draw the cover, reportedly it took him over three months to finish one person.
Eminem appears on nine of the album's tracks (more than any other artist, including the new artists being launched): "Jimmy Crack Corn", "No Apologies", "Public Enemy #1", "Shady Narcotics (Intro)", "Shake That (Remix)", "The Re-Up", "We're Back", "You Don't Know" and "Murder". Eminem remixed and produced 50 Cent's "Ski Mask Way" with Disco D and Luis Resto (which originally appeared on The Massacre), and Obie Trice's "Cry Now (Shady Remix)" produced by Witt and Pep (which originally appeared on Second Round's on Me).
The clean version of the album censors all profanities, as well as violent and sexual content, and drug references. In the track "Talkin' All That", the word "fuck" was left uncensored once, and in the track "Jimmy Crack Corn", the word "shit" was also left uncensored twice and "ass" once. The track "Murder" segues into the track "Everything Is Shady", where the shooting effects in the beginning were cut. In "Shady Narcotics", Eminem does not mention 50 Cent. Instead, the clean version changes "50 Cent" to "[bitches] brand new [shit]". On the explicit version of the album, two songs are censored. The song "No Apologies" has "Beyoncé" reversed when Eminem says "I got jelly like Beyoncé's pot belly", and the song "The Re-Up" has the word "Ex" censored when Eminem says "He's already reconciled with his ex, a chainsaw and an axe".
Initial critical response to Eminem Presents: The Re-Up was mixed. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 50, based on the 13 reviews. It opened up at number 2 with sales of approximately 309,000, only behind R&B songstress Ciara. The album has since sold a little over a million copies in the United States alone.