Last modified on 19 June 2014, at 00:41

Big Smoke

Character
Melvin Harris
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[[Image::File:BigSmoke-GTASA.jpg| ]]
Appearances GTA San Andreas
Full Name Melvin Harris
Aliases Big Smoke
Smoke
Status

Deceased

Gender Gender::Male
Place of Birth Los Santos
Date of Death 1992 (during End of the Line)
Nationality American
Home Ganton, Los Santos
Big Smoke's House in Idlewood, Los Santos
Big Smoke's Crack Palace
Main Affiliations Grove Street Families
Sweet
Carl Johnson
Ryder
OG Loc
Big Bear
B Dup
C.R.A.S.H.
Ballas
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 3D Universe 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

Background

Big Smoke was born in Los Santos, and grew up on the Grove Street cul-de-sac in Ganton next door to Sweet, Brian and Carl Johnson, as well as Ryder and OG Loc. He and his childhood friends were founding members of Grove Street Families. In 1987, Brian somehow died with Carl's negligence to blame, and Carl left for Liberty City.

Grove Street Families went downhill over the next five years. Smoke tried to convince Sweet to let the gang sell crack cocaine, though Sweet was vehemently opposed to it. Smoke began to secretly sell it under the guidance of corrupt LSPD officer Frank Tenpenny, which saw Smoke secretly work with the rival Ballas gang. Smoke made enough money to buy a new house and a vintage black Perennial, which he told his friends he paid for with an inheritance from his dead aunt. Smoke's old house on Grove Street, next door to the Johnson residence, was still used as a regular hangout. Before long, Big Smoke is supplied large amounts of cocaine by the Loco Syndicate from San Fierro.

In 1992, Big Smoke let Ryder in on his secret dealings with crack. In the same week, Tenpenny organized a hit on Sweet - the assassins, Ballas behind the wheel of a green Sabre, spray the Johnson residence with machine gun fire but accidentally kill Beverly Johnson instead. Carl Johnson returns to Los Santos for the funeral, which is when GTA: San Andreas begins.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Gang Activity

Smoke is the first to welcome Carl home, and brings him to the funeral to meet Sweet, Ryder and Kendl Johnson. While Smoke welcomes Carl back with open arms, Sweet and Ryder remain bitter about Brian's death. The funeral is attacked by Ballas in a purple Voodoo, which the four of them escape on bicycles. Smoke's Perennial is destroyed in the process, which he promptly replaces with a teal Glendale. A week or two later, when the four of them are at a fast-food drive-thru, they are targeted by the same hitmen. Sweet, Carl and Ryder kill them with no help from Smoke, who instead continued eating his meal. The rest of the gang is angry at him, though he passes it off as a simple personal eccentricity and it's more or less forgotten.

Big Smoke making contact with a Vagos member's head using a baseball bat.

Carl helps Big Smoke outside of official gang business, which is when he first begins to suspect Smoke is hiding something. Two incidents in particular, chasing down a train full of Los Santos Vagos en route to meet the San Fierro Rifa, and a large shootout with the Russian Mafia, peak Carl's curiosity while Big Smoke is reluctant to answer his questions.

Eventually, Grove Street Families regains the influence it had in the mid-1980s. Carl proves to be a great asset to the gang, which earns him Sweet's respect back. At their peak, they plan to re-unite with their former allies, Seville Boulevard and Temple Drive Families. Their meeting at the Jefferson Motel is stormed by LSPD SWAT - Smoke and Ryder urge Carl to flee the scene with them, though Carl insists on saving Sweet. When Carl reaches Sweet, he first expresses distrust in Smoke and Ryder, saying "they shook on us!". However, Smoke and Ryder actually return to Sweet and Carl's aid, and all four of them escape unharmed.

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.

Very soon after, the newly-united Families are on their way to seize Ballas territory under the Mulholland Intersection. Cesar Vialpando, Kendl Johnson's boyfriend, summons Carl to Verdant Bluffs where he witnesses Smoke, Ryder, Tenpenny and Ballas conferring around the infamous Green Sabre. Carl rushes to save his brother, but ultimately fails - Sweet is shot and mended in a prison hospital, while Carl is abandoned in Whetstone by Tenpenny.

Drug Baron

No longer weighed down by the Johnson's, Big Smoke becomes the most powerful drug lord in Los Santos. Former Ballas, Vagos and GSFs disregard their gang ties and unilaterally work for him. Former GSFs Ryder and B-Dup both become wealthy in his employ, though Smoke does not trust B-Dup enough to make him a "lieutenant", so to speak. Twice a week, Big Smoke takes in a backpack full of cocaine from the Loco Syndicate, and sends back money in a Patriot. OG Loc has since become a successful rapper, and Smoke launders drug money by becoming his manager. Smoke takes on the public image of a benefactor to orphanages and anti-drug campaigns, further concealing his drug operation. Aside from his public charity appearances, he is extremely paranoid and rarely ventures out of a fortified apartment tower he owns in East Los Santos. He owns a white Feltzer, license plate "IMY AK", but rarely gets to enjoy it because he is a shut-in.

Carl gets back on his feet in San Fierro, destroys the Loco Syndicate and kills Ryder. Word of Ryder's death runs wild in Los Santos (according to Cesar in Yay Ka-Boom-Boom), though Smoke is undeterred and finds a new supplier of raw cocaine. Carl later finds his way back to Los Santos, and manages to have Sweet freed from a supposedly unsurmountable life sentence (ironically by Mike Toreno, an undercover US government agent who organized the Loco Syndicate in the first place). Sweet and Carl build Grove Street Families from the ground up a third time, while OG Loc and B Dup are shaken down but left alive. As Tenpenny's acquittal for corruption hits national news, riots break out all over Los Santos. Carl and Sweet use this opportunity to gain even more turf, and Sweet eventually find a high-ranking Vagos member who spills Big Smoke's location to them.

Death

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

Carl ventures into Smoke's apartment tower alone, in order to prove a point to himself and Sweet, and makes his way to Big Smoke's penthouse. Smoke is at first slow to respond to Carl, saying "I knew you was coming, and I don't give a shit". They then have a short argument, in which Smoke is somewhat jealous and resentful of Carl but relishes his own success, telling him "Look at you, you got the whole world! I ain't got no regrets, man!". Carl attempts to rebate by stating Smoke had a family, but is inturuptted by him stating "I made it CJ, I'm a success! I CAN'T BE TOUCHED. I don't give a fuck. Fuck the whole world." A clearly disappointed Carl asks Smoke "What happened to you man?" Smoke replies "Man, what the fuck do you care?" He grabs a shotgun and aim's it at Carl. "Guess we better do this shit then..."

Carl listening to Big Smoke's final words.

After a shootout in his apartment, Carl manages to get five bullets through Smoke's body armor, flooring him besides his open safe and his spilled money. Carl tries one last time to reason with Smoke as he dies. Smoke grabs onto some of his money, and admits "I got caught up in the money, the power" and "I had no choice, I had to do it. I just see the opportunity". Smoke's last words are filled with vanity, however, and he proclaims "When I'm gone, everyone gonna remember my name - Big Smoke!". Carl somberly whispers to himself "Damn, man. What a waste." before he is confronted by Tenpenny. The apartment tower is burned down (by Tenpenny), which causes the media to rule Big Smoke's death as an accident. After an epic car chase throughout Los Santos, using Smoke's white Feltzer, Carl and Sweet kill Tenpenny in a supposed accident as well.

Trivia

  • 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.
    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, even despite Big Smoke having a separate character model depicting him wearing body armor.
  • Big Smoke is shown to have five 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.
  • At the 26 second mark of Franklin Clinton's GTA V character trailer, a man heavily resembling Big Smoke can be seen watching a stripper.

Mission appearances

GTA San Andreas

Gallery