Dame Dash refused to board Snoop Dogg’s “Soul Plane” due to racial concerns

A candid conversation with Roc-A-Fella Records Co-Founder

"The Prince Of Detroit" Detroit Premiere
"The Prince Of Detroit" Detroit Premiere / Monica Morgan/GettyImages

In an exclusive interview with Math Hoffa, Dame Dash, the legendary co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, pulled no punches when discussing his decision to turn down the opportunity to produce the 2004 comedy film, Soul Plane, starring none other than Snoop Dogg and Kevin Hart.

The soul plane dilemma

“Soul Plane,” a raucous comedy set aboard an outrageously unconventional airline, promised laughs, turbulence, and a wild ride. But for Dash, there was a deeper issue at play. He candidly revealed,

"They had asked me to produce Soul Plane, and I got offended because I don’t like white people making money off making fun of us."

Dash’s refusal to board the Soul Plane stemmed from his concerns about the film’s portrayal of Black culture.

"I could never feel comfortable sitting in a movie theater watching people laugh at us, he asserted."

The film’s humor, which sometimes veered into racially insensitive territory, struck a nerve with the music mogul.

Kevin Hart’s role and unsettled scores

But Dash didn’t stop there. He also took aim at Kevin Hart, who had risen to comedic stardom.

"“Anyone who interviews Kev, and he’ll say it: Dame put me in my first movie,” Dash emphasized. “Why won’t you post his stuff?” he questioned, referring to Hart’s lack of public support."

Dash’s frustration extended to Hart’s 2015 film, Get Hard.

"I wouldn’t braid another man’s hair on a billboard,” Dash quipped. I don’t care if it’s Will Ferrell. He has done things that I didn’t raise him to do, but he has a different kind of comedy."

The mogul’s plea was simple: “Repost my stuff!” Dash’s influence had indeed kickstarted Hart’s career, casting him in the 2002 film Paper Soldiers. Hart himself acknowledged this debt of gratitude, saying,

"Paper Soldiers is the reason I got tapes, auditions, pilots."

A tale of two films

Paper Soldiers, co-directed and co-written by Dash, featured a relatively unknown Hart as a rookie thief. The film also boasted appearances by Stacey Dash, Beanie Sigel, Charlie Murphy, and even JAY-Z in a cameo role as himself.

Soul Plane, released two years later, assembled a star-studded cast of rappers, including Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Lil Jon, and the Ying Yang Twins. Regular actors like Tom Arnold, D.L. Hughley, and Sofia Vergara rounded out the ensemble. Despite its box office flop, Soul Plane has since achieved cult classic status.

A legacy of bold choices

Dame Dash’s refusal to compromise his principles remains a testament to his unwavering commitment to Black culture. Whether it’s rejecting a film or championing rising talent, Dash’s legacy is etched in bold choices and unapologetic authenticity.

As the credits roll on the Soul Plane, we’re left with a lingering question: Can laughter ever be truly boundary-free, or does it sometimes come at a cost?