Big Smoke

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Melvin Harris
[[Image::File:BigSmoke-GTASA.jpg| ]]
Appearances [[Appearance::Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas]]
Full Name Melvin Harris
Aliases Big Smoke
Status Deceased[[Status::Deceased| ]]
Gender Gender::Male
Place of Birth Los Santos
Date of Death [[Error: Invalid time.|1992]][[DOD::1992| ]]
Nationality American
Home Ganton, Los Santos
Big Smoke's House in Idlewood, Los Santos,
Big Smoke's Crack Palace
Main Affiliations Grove Street Families
Carl Johnson
OG Loc
Big Bear
B Dup
Los Santos Vagos
Russian Mafia
San Fierro Rifa
Loco Syndicate
Vehicles Black Perennial
Blue Glendale
Voiced by Clifton Powell
This article is about the character. For the mission in GTA San Andreas, see Big Smoke (mission)

Melvin Harris, better known as Big Smoke or Smoke, is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as a main character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (set in 1992). Big Smoke appeared as a high ranking member of the Grove Street Families who later joined forces with the Ballas, Los Santos Vagos and Russian Mafia, becoming the biggest criminal in the underworld of Los Santos. He is voiced by Clifton Powell, who has also appeared in Menace II Society.

Character history

Early life

Big Smoke was born in Los Santos, likely in Ganton due to his close relationship with Sweet and Carl Johnson, and he later became a member of the Grove Street Families. He rose through the ranks of the gang until becoming the right hand man of Sweet, being helped by the departure of Carl in 1987 after his brothers death. Smoke also, at one point, lived in Ganton, which may have been from birth, but moved to Idlewood some time prior to 1992, purchasing a house with his 'aunt's money' from a will. The Grove Street Families, however, begin to lose influence and status amongst the city gangs, noticing that the Ballas, who control Idlewood, are selling drugs to fuel their rising influence. He then starts trying to persuade Sweet to allow the Grove Street Families to sell drugs, although this fails. At some point Big Smoke forms an alliance with the Ballas and begins to secretly work for them. Smoke later includes the Los Santos Vagos and the Russian Mafia, who were hoping to get a foothold in Los Santos, into his new alliance. They also form an alliance with the Loco Syndicate who began supplying them with various drugs from their base in San Fierro, although he doesn't realize that an undercover government agent is involved in the operation.

Life with Carl Johnson

In 1992, after failing to convince Sweet, he goes to Ryder and convinces him to join forces with the Ballas, who later attempt to kill Sweet but fail, instead killing his mother. The death of Beverly Johnson leads to her son, Carl, returning from Liberty City and Carl meets Smoke inside his old house. Smoke initially fails to realize Carl but immediately accepts the return of an old friend, contrary to Sweet who remains initially hostile. At the funeral a Ballas car appears and performs a drive-by shooting, forcing Smoke, Carl, Sweet and Ryder to use bicycles in their effort to escape. The Ballas, however, only chase and shoot at Carl and Sweet, due to Smoke and Ryder's alliance with the gang, a fact that is missed by the Johnson brothers. Smoke likewise refuses to shoot at Ballas gangsters, who were performing a drive-by on the gang, claiming that he did not want to waste the food.

Smoke continues his life as normal within the Grove Street Families, often being found around Sweet. He begins to hire Carl to do various tasks, the first being to pick up OG Loc from prison, which ends with Carl and Loc chasing down Freddy, a Los Santos Vagos gangster, in a motorcycle chase, eventually killing him. Carl later goes to see Smoke at his house but is disturbed to find Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski, two police officers involved in C.R.A.S.H., which Smoke states is because they are 'nosy', although it is another sign of his true allegiances. C.R.A.S.H. are seen again exiting Smoke's home.

Carl and Smoke then go to East Los Santos in search of Mary, his 'cousin', although when there he attempts to take some cannabis from a Los Santos Vagos gangster. He is blown off but hits one of the gangsters with a bat with Carl chasing and killing the second. The two later work together to kill four Los Santos Vagos gangsters as they leave a meeting with the San Fierro Rifa on the Brown Streak train. The two work together one last time when they kill a number of Russian Mafia gangsters, although Smoke gives no reason for this encounter, which may have been to have Carl killed due to his continued success in attacking the Ballas and the Los Santos Vagos, both allied with Smoke.

Smoke continues his friendship with Sweet and Carl, although he and Ryder both refuse to enter the Jefferson Motel during the attempt to re-unite the divided Grove Street Families, knowing that the meeting was to be interrupted by the police. Sweet and Carl, however, both manage to escape and the four evade the police before going their separate ways when returning home.

Betrayal and rise

Big Smoke, Ryder, Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski with the green Sabre used to kill Beverly Johnson, as witnessed by Carl Johnson and Cesar Vialpando, during The Green Sabre.

Cesar Vialpando, the boyfriend of Sweet and Carl's sister Kendl, later phones Carl to come to an alleyway in Verdant Bluffs. While there the two witness Smoke and Ryder working with Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski, with the green Sabre used to kill his mother being driven by Pulaski. Carl finally realises Smoke's true allegiances but is forced to go to Mulholland Intersection to save his brother from a Ballas ambush. Sweet is shot and later arrested, being taken to prison upstate while Carl is taken to Whetstone by Tenpenny, Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez.

In the absence of both Sweet and Carl, Smoke and Ryder take control of the Grove Street Families and add them to their alliance. The Ballas take control of Ganton and other Grove Street Families territory. The Grove Street Families gangsters, meanwhile, begin working as drugs smugglers, taking them from the Loco Syndicate factory in Doherty, San Fierro back to Los Santos. Cesar Vialpando, however, discovers this and alerts Carl Johnson, who stops a number of the supplies from reaching Los Santos. Carl and Cesar later photograph Ryder with three men, later identified as Jizzy B., T-Bone Mendez and Mike Toreno. Carl, upon returning to his garage in San Fierro has Wu Zi Mu and his Triad allies discover more about the trio.

Carl then begins to work for Jizzy B., attempting to gather more information on the operation, and later gains his trust. Carl, however, later kills Jizzy, San Fierro Rifa leader T-Bone Mendez and undercover agent Mike Toreno, as well as Ryder, before destroying their drug manufacturing factory, stopping the supply back to Los Santos. Smoke, however, is undeterred and instead starts his manufacturing plant in East Los Santos. He also begins working as the manager of OG Loc, a rapper and childhood friend of both Smoke and Carl, who helped him by sabotaging the career of Madd Dogg. He also attempts to show himself as a philanthropist when telling West Coast Talk Radio that he is using his money to try and stop the sale drugs in Los Santos, despite being the drug baron of the city.

Final days

In the meantime Carl is re-united with Toreno, who used a decoy on his scheduled departing flight, and begins working for him attacking those harming American interests. As a reward, Toreno gets Sweet paroled from prison and the two return home, taking Ganton back for the Grove Street Families, who once ally themselves with the formerly absent leaders. By this time, however, Smoke had become a recluse and extremely paranoid, hiding away in his drug manufacturing plant. Sweet and Carl continue their attack on the Ballas, re-taking both Glen Park (in Beat Down on B Dup) and Idlewood (in Grove 4 Life).

Carl Johnson confronting Big Smoke in his drug manufacturing factory, shortly before a shoot-out and Smoke's death, during End of the Line.

The Johnson brothers then decide to take down Big Smoke and his operation, using a SWAT Tank to break into his drug manufacturing plant. Carl then proceeds to shoot his way past the many Ballas, Los Santos Vagos and Russian Mafia gangsters in the factory until reaching the top floor, where he finds Big Smoke. The two become involved in a gun fight, which is won by Carl, who manages to talk to Smoke about his betrayal before his death. Smoke, showing remorse for his actions, tells Carl that he got caught up in the money and power he was able to obtain. He reminds Carl that when he is dead people will remember his name before dying from the gunshot wounds inflicted by Carl. Carl shows remorse for Smoke but is interrupted by Tenpenny, who he later chases before he drives a fire truck off a bridge into Grove Street and dies.


  • Big Smoke drives a blue Glendale, with a white roof, which has the license plate A2TMFK. Opinions on the meaning of this are varied:
Some believe it to be an acronym for 'a two-timing motherfucker, in reference to his betraying the Grove Street Families.
Some believe it to be an acronym for 'a two-ton motherfucker', in reference to him being overweight.
Some believe it to be a reference to the Cypress Hill song 'A to the Motherf*ckin K', which was released in 1993 (a year after GTA San Andreas).
  • Big Smoke's favorite radio stations are Bounce FM and Radio Los Santos.
  • The beta version of Big Smoke is shown wearing a white jersey and black trousers, with Smoke having a bald head, which can be seen on the statute of Smoke in the drug manufacturing factory in East Los Santos.
  • Big Smoke quotes the Bible on many occasions, hinting that he may be deeply religious.
  • In replay mode, Smoke, along with Sweet and Ryder, appear as pedestrian character models.
  • It is rumored by fans that,if you enter the Crack Palace,you'll hear Bigsmoke's voice inside or even see his ghost walking around in the corridors.
Smoke's character model seen in replay mode during the mission Drive-By.
  • Big Smoke, like Ryder, continues to wear green clothing after his betrayal of the Grove Street Families becomes common knowledge. This is because Big Smoke and Ryder only have one coded outfit
  • Big Smoke is shown to have two bullets in his chest following the shoot-out during End of the Line, regardless of how he is killed.
  • Big Smoke makes multiple references to his desire to be remembered following his death.

Mission appearances

GTA San Andreas