Lance Wilson
Appearances GTA San Andreas
Full Name Lance Wilson
Aliases Ryder


Place of Birth Los Santos, San Andreas
Date of Death 1992 (during Pier 69)
Nationality American
Home Ryder's House in Ganton, Los Santos
Main Affiliations Grove Street Families
Carl Johnson
Big Smoke
OG Loc
Big Bear
B Dup
Los Santos Vagos
Russian Mafia
San Fierro Rifa
Loco Syndicate
Vehicles Picador
Voiced by MC Eiht

For the mission see Ryder (mission)

Lance "Ryder" Wilson is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as a tertiary antagonist in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. A high ranking member of the Grove Street Families who later joined forces with the Ballas, Los Santos Vagos and Russian Mafia besides becoming a right hand lieutenant in the antagonistic crack cocaine drug trade, he is voiced by MC Eiht.

Character history

Early life

Ryder was born in Los Santos, likely in Ganton due to his close relationship with brothers and gang leaders Sean "Sweet" Johnson and Carl "CJ" Johnson, and he later became a member of the Grove Street Families. He was once thrown out of school for beating up a teacher who was wearing Ballas colours, although Ryder claims this was because he was too intelligent for school. He rose up the ranks of the gang before becoming one of Sweet's closest allies alongside childhood friend Melvin "Big Smoke" Harris, being helped by Carl's departure in 1987 following his brother Brian Johnson's death. Later, the Grove Street Families, however, began to lose influence, power and money to their arch rivals, the Ballas, due to their stance against the sale of drugs, which was fueling the Ballas' rise to prominence. Smoke attempted to convince Sweet about the benefits of selling drugs, having secretly formed an alliance with the Ballas under duress from corrupt C.R.A.S.H. officer Frank Tenpenny, but failed, later meeting Ryder in his house where he convinces him to join his newly formed alliance with the Ballas. The alliance is later expanded to include the Los Santos Vagos and Russian Mafia, while another was established with the Loco Syndicate, who began supplying the new alliance with drugs from their base in San Fierro, although they do not realize that an undercover government agent is involved in the operation. Ryder and Smoke also played a part in the murder of Sweet's mother Beverly Johnson, which was committed by the Ballas using a green Sabre, although they were aiming for Sweet.

Life with Carl Johnson

Beverly's death brings Carl back to Los Santos from Liberty City. Carl meets Ryder again shortly after her funeral where they are attacked by a group of Ballas gangsters performing a drive-by shooting, destroying Smoke's vehicle. Carl, Sweet, Smoke and Ryder then use bicycles to flee the area. The four cycle to Mulholland Intersection where Sweet breaks away from the group, drawing the Ballas vehicle, allowing Carl, Smoke and Ryder to escape. The three are briefly followed again by a Ballas car, although the Ballas do not aim their guns at Smoke and Ryder due to their alliance, a fact missed by the Johnson brothers. Smoke also refuses to shoot at a Ballas car performing a drive-by shooting, claiming he did not wish to waste the food they had just ordered, although Ryder does start shooting the Ballas.

Ryder continues his life as normal with the Grove Street Families, often being seen with Sweet and Carl. He begins to hire Carl to do various tasks, the first being to drive to The Well Stacked Pizza Co. fast food restaurant in Idlewood, where he attempts to rob the store but is thwarted by the manager using a shotgun in self-defense. Ryder later assists Carl to kill a drug dealer and then a number of Ballas gangsters who were associated with the dealer in a home in Idlewood. Ryder also hires Carl to help him steal weapons from the house of Colonel Fuhrberger in East Beach, a weapons shipment from a train coming from Las Venturas and weapon crates from the National Guard Depot in Ocean Docks.

Ryder also accompanies Carl, Sweet and Smoke to the Cluckin' Bell fast food restaurant in Willowfield, where they see a group Ballas attempt a drive-by shooting. The four survive and destroy the Ballas car. Ryder is again seen when the four discuss the gangs weapons and later performs a number of drive-by shootings with the three in East Los Santos and Jefferson. He also attends a party thrown by part-time gang member Jeffrey "OG Loc" Cross in Grove Street.

Sweet later arranges a meeting at the Jefferson Motel between the various sub-sects of the Grove Street Families, in an attempt to bring the factions back together to fight the Ballas. Ryder, upon arriving with Sweet, Carl and Smoke, criticizes the non-Grove Street gangsters, which Carl and Sweet do not realize is an attack on the gang rather than the sub-sects. Sweet enters the motel on his own and, when the Los Santos Police Department ambush the meeting, Ryder and Smoke flee the scene in Sweet's Greenwood. The two, however, later re-appear at the side of the motel and drive away from the pursuing police, driving the car through a Sprunk billboard. The car explodes upon landing on the road below while the four, who had bailed out of the car, decide to go back home on their own.

Betrayal and death

Ryder and Big Smoke with Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski, driving the green Sabre, during The Green Sabre.
Ryder meeting with T-Bone Mendez on Pier 69 in San Fierro shortly before his death, during Pier 69.

Mexican-American Varrios Los Aztecas gang leader Cesar Vialpando, boyfriend to Sweet's and Carl's sister Kendl, later phones Carl, asking him to come to an alleyway in Verdant Bluffs. While there, the two witness Smoke and Ryder, along with Tenpenny and C.R.A.S.H. accomplice Edward "Eddie" Pulaski, with the green Sabre used in the killing of Carl's mother, though Carl actually does not see or acknowledge Ryder. Carl finally realizes Smoke's real allegiance but is forced to go to Mulholland Intersection to save Sweet from a Ballas ambush during a shoot-out. Sweet is shot and later arrested, being taken to a prison 'upstate' while Carl is taken to Angel Pine in Whetstone by Tenpenny, Pulaski and C.R.A.S.H. recruit Jimmy Hernandez, and abandoned in rural Whetstone.

Smoke and Ryder, in the absence of the brothers, take control of the Grove Street Families and add them to their alliance. The Ballas take control of Ganton and other Grove Street Families turf in Los Santos. The Grove Street Families gangsters also begin to work for Smoke and Ryder by taking drug shipments from the Loco Syndicate drug manufacturing plant in Doherty, San Fierro back to Los Santos. Cesar, however, later discovers this and informs Carl, who stops a number of the shipments from reaching Los Santos. Carl later moves to San Fierro but returns to Angel Pine with Cesar to attempt an espionage on a deal between the Ballas and three principal San Fierro drug dealers at the town's Cluckin' Bell drive-thru, where he actually notices Ryder's betrayal for the first time.

After obtaining the photographs Carl returns to San Fierro and has them developed. He meets with a recently befriended Wu Zi "Woozie" Mu, a leading member of the San Fierro Triads in San Fierro, and his assistant Guppy, who identifies the three dealers as Jizzy B., a nightclub owner, T-Bone Mendez, the leader of the San Fierro Rifa, and the gang's unknown boss, although they are unaware of his real identity. Carl, after working for both Jizzy and Woozie, and with with support from Woozie in return, later kills Jizzy and ambushes a meeting between Mendez and Ryder, with help from the Triads. Carl and Cesar both kill Mendez but Ryder escapes, swimming to a nearby boat, although Carl follows him and kills him enroute back to Los Santos. Carl later shows remorse for killing his former friend, although Cesar mentions that Ryder "tried to have sex" with Kendl.


  • Ryder bears a striking resemblance to the late rapper Eazy-E. He is always seen in a black baseball cap which reads "San Andreas" in place of "Compton", sunglasses, a windbreaker and Jheri Curl hairstyle. Ryder's Picador is based on a Chevy El Camino, also a staple of Eazy-E's image (i.e. "A fresh El Camino rolling Kilo G").
  • Ryder constantly chastises Carl for his driving, regardless of how carefully the player drives - citing his "East Coast" style, a reference to the fact that he lived in Liberty City before his comeback.
  • In replay mode, Ryder, along with Sweet and Big Smoke, appears as a pedestrian character model.
  • Ryder is never seen without his sunglasses and only once, during his self-titled mission, without his cap. A glitch in the game reveals that behind the sunglasses, Ryder always has his eyes closed or perhaps squinted, which is a side effect of marijuana.
  • Ryder, just like Smoke, continues to wear green after his betrayal of the Grove Street Families becomes common knowledge. There are two reasons: one, Rockstar only had a single coded outfit for both since they were non-playable characters to begin with; two, it made sense for them to keep the Families bluffed into working for them.
  • Ryder is addicted to PCP - throughout the game it is nicknamed 'water', 'wet' and 'sherm'. The license plate of Ryder's brown Picador also reads "SHERM".
  • Carl tells Ryder that he "wishes" he "hadn't pissed him off" on the way to a garage after an act of burglary, foreshadowing Ryder's death.
  • In pre-release screenshots, Ryder was shown to own a brown Sadler.
  • Ryder's favorite Radio station is Radio Los Santos. His voice actor, MC Eiht, can also be heard during the song Hood Took Me Under by Compton's Most Wanted, which features on the station and in a mission featuring Ryder himself.
  • Ryder has a poster of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City game artwork on a wall inside his house.
Concept artwork of Ryder

Mission appearances

GTA San Andreas