Eminem makes copious references to alt-rock group Imagine Dragons in his latest single, "Black Magic." It's a track from the rapper's recent deluxe edition of his album Music to Be Murdered By – Side B, released last week. But why is the hip-hop veteran going after the feel-good pop-rockers now?

It seems a little late for Eminem to be responding to Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds' seeming 2018 indictment of the rapper for using a homophobic slur in another one of his songs, that year's "Fall." But maybe Em's new tune has been sitting on the back burner for just that long.

In the Skylar Grey-assisted "Black Magic," Eminem spends a whole stanza dropping mentions of Imagine Dragons. As pointed out by Genius, that includes referencing the group's songs "Sucker for Pain" (a Suicide Squad soundtrack collaboration with Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa), "Stuck" and "Radioactive" before employing wordplay to almost utter the band's name outright:

But if this is actually happenin', "sucker for pain"
I'm stuck in this radioactive pattern
But her by her motherfuckin' hair's
All I "imagine draggin'" (Dragon)

When "Fall" emerged back in 2018 — it's from Eminem's album Kamikaze — the rapper made waves for using a hateful insult to refer to fellow hip-hop star Tyler the Creator. Reynolds responded in a series of messages on social media, although he didn't categorically name Eminem.

"It's never ok to say a word that is filled with hate," Reynolds said, as Billboard reported at the time. "I don't care what year you were born in or what meaning it has to you. If it contributes to hate and bigotry then it is hateful."

He continued, "It's disgusting to be told this is being 'overly sensitive' or 'millennial.' LGBTQ kids are TAKING THEIR LIVES after being bullied with homophobic slurs. It's not 'sensitive' to take a stand against a word that has been used to spread hate for years."

The original messages that contained Reynolds' statements have since been deleted, however. And Eminem's "Black Magic" lyrics don't exactly mention "Fall" or Reynolds' reaction to it. So it's anyone's guess as to the rapper's intention with the Imagine Dragons references on his latest cut.

Eminem, "Black Magic" (feat. Skylar Grey)

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