Shady's Back

Eminem planned to make "The Re-Up" a classic kind of hip-hop mixtape -- an underground affair distributed hand to hand and by word-of-mouth rather than conventional label marketing and promotion.

Eminem planned to make "The Re-Up" a classic kind of hip-hop mixtape -- an underground affair distributed hand to hand and by word-of-mouth rather than conventional label marketing and promotion. Instead, as the superstar himself might say, he created a monster.

"The Re-Up," a collection designed to show off some new artists signed to his Shady Records imprint like Stat Quo and Bobby Creekwater from Atlanta and Chicago's Ca$his, will be released this week by Shady/Interscope. "Eminem Presents: The Re-Up" is a 22-track set with performances by established stars Eminem, 50 Cent, D12, Lloyd Banks and Obie Trice, as well as a special remix of the Akon/Eminem smash "Smack That."

"Basically, ["The Re-Up"] was taking a long time because, as Em does with everything, he is extremely meticulous and has high quality-control standards," Eminem's manager Paul Rosenberg says. "It just started turning out really great, so rather than just put it in the streets and not really control the distribution of it, we decided to make it official because of the quality and scope of the music."

The decision certainly changed the complexion of "The Re-Up." Eminem appears on seven tracks, including the single "You Don't Know" with Banks, Ca$his and 50 Cent, who is on three other songs. Eminem also produced 11 of the tracks, while the Alchemist, who served as his DJ on the 2005 Anger Management tour, produced three songs. Despite the superstar firepower, however, Rosenberg calls "The Re-Up" "a real back-to-basics thing. It's not a pop or extremely commercial-selling album. It's about the art form and flexing your muscles as a rapper."