|This article is about the character. For the mission in GTA San Andreas, see Big Smoke|
- "Respect has to be earned, Sweet. Just like money."
- ― Big Smoke
Melvin Harris, better known as Big Smoke, is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as a main character and the secondary antagonist of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Big Smoke was voiced by Clifton Powell, who has also appeared in Menace II Society, Next Friday, and Friday After Next.
Big Smoke was a high-ranking member of the Grove Street Families who later defected to the Ballas, and made clandestine deals with the Los Santos Vagos and Russian Mafia, eventually becoming the most powerful crook in the criminal underworld of Los Santos.
Big Smoke makes multiple references to his desire to be remembered after his death.
Big Smoke appears to speak some Spanish, as in the mission Running Dog, he threatens one of the Vagos who responds "Chinga a tu madre, pendejo" which roughly translates into "Fuck your mother, dickhead".
His favorite radio station is Bounce FM.
Big Smoke was born in Los Santos, likely in Ganton due to his close relationship with Sweet and Carl Johnson, and he later joined the Grove Street Families. He rose through the ranks of the gang until he became Sweet's right-hand man, Carl's departure in 1987 following his brother's death helped Smoke and Sweet develop a closer relationship.
Big Smoke quotes from the Bible on many occasions, hinting that he may be religious, though Carl claims he's "still talking shit."
Joining the Ballas
Big Smoke was born in Los Santos and originally lived in Ganton, but moved to Idlewood after buying a house with some money he claims his aunt left him in her will. The Grove Street Families, however, began to lose influence and status among the city gangs, noticing that the Ballas, who control Idlewood, were selling drugs to fuel their rising influence. He then tries to persuade Sweet to allow the Grove Street Families to sell more potent drugs (since the Families already sell marijuana and PCP), although Sweet refuses because he believes crack cocaine has a destructive influence on the communities that they're sold in.
At some point, Big Smoke forms a clandestine alliance with the Ballas and begins to cooperate with 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 realise that an undercover government agent is monitoring in the operation.
Events of GTA San Andreas
- "CJ? Ooohh my dog! Whassup? Hahaha! Hey baby, you okay, man?"
- ―Big Smoke
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 childhood house. Smoke initially mistook Carl for a burglar, but immediately accepts the return of his old friend, contrary to Sweet, who remains initially hostile. It is not until later in the game that his true intentions with the Ballas-C.R.A.S.H. unit are revealed, but on several occasions prior to his exposure as a traitor, many subtle hints appear foreshadowing it.
Smoke appears alongside Carl, Sweet, and Ryder in the first mission in the game, and also later appears at the funeral of several GSF members. However, during the mission, the attackers will only attack Carl and Sweet, avoiding Smoke and Ryder. He also appears playing basketball with Sweet in Tagging up Turf, and also briefly appears in Cleaning the Hood at Sweet's house. In the mission Drive-Thru, Sweet, CJ, Smoke and Ryder decide to eat at Cluckin' Bell; however, they are attacked by Ballas whilst dining. Smoke's refusal to shoot at the Ballas (claiming that he would only shoot when he was done eating) was another hint to his betrayal. After appearing in the introductory scene of Nines and AKs, Smoke later helped the gang in the mission Drive-By. After this, Smoke gives his own missions to Carl; the first is to collect an old friend (OG Loc) from Pershing Square police station as he has been paroled from prison. The next is to help Smoke eliminate a Vagos member. In the mission Wrong Side of the Tracks, before Smoke and CJ work to kill more Vagos, Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski are seen leaving Smoke's house; however, Smoke's comment that they are simply "nosey" hints that he is not-so-hostile towards them. CJ would then later assist Smoke in taking down Russian Mafia members in the mission Just Business, and Smoke would later assist CJ, Ryder and Sweet in the mission Reuniting the Families.
- "Shit, Smoke...C.R.A.S.H. makin' you sell us out!"
- ― Carl Johnson
The mission The Green Sabre is ultimately the turning point in both the game and in Big Smoke and Ryder's characters; Sweet explains to CJ that they are going to go take down a large amount of Ballas and to meet at the Mulholland Intersection; as soon as CJ leaves, CJ's friend (and his sister's boyfriend) Cesar Vialpando tells him he must urgently meet him at an alleyway. At the alley, CJ is shocked to see Big Smoke and Ryder—along with Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski and some Ballas members secretly working together. Along with a notable green Sabre—the same one that was used to murder Beverly Johnson. Carl arrives at intersection to save his brother. Although Sweet survives, he ends up injured through the gunfire and held captive in a prison hospital.
Rise to power
- "I MADE IT, CJ! I'M A SUCCESS! I CAN'T BE TOUCHED!"
- ― Big Smoke
In the absence of both Sweet and Carl, Smoke and Ryder disband the Grove Street Families, leaving Ganton and all other Grove Street territory in the hands of the Ballas. A few Grove Street Families members, meanwhile, begin working as drugs smugglers, taking them from the Loco Syndicate factory in Doherty, San Fierro back to Los Santos. Cesar Vialpando, discovers this and alerts Carl Johnson, who stops a number of the suppliers from reaching Los Santos in order to disrupt the flow of drugs into the city. 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 (or so he thought) 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, an aspiring rapper and childhood friend of both Smoke and Carl, who aided him by sabotaging the career of rap superstar Madd Dogg. He also attempts to make himself sound like a philanthropist when talking on West Coast Talk Radio (which can be heard on the radio anytime after the mission Pier 69). Saying that he is using his money to try and stop the sale of drugs in Los Santos, despite being the major drug baron of the city.
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.
- "I had no choice, I had to do it. I just see the opportunity. When I'm gone, everyone's gonna remember my name...BIG SMOKE!"
- ― Big Smoke's last words
In the meantime, Carl is reunited 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 has Sweet paroled from prison and the two return home, taking Ganton back for the Grove Street Families, who once again ally themselves with the formerly absent leaders. By this time, however, Big Smoke had become somewhat of a recluse and extremely paranoid, hiding away in his drug manufacturing plant, away from the massive riots engulfing the streets of Los Santos. Sweet and Carl continue their attack on the Ballas, retaking both Glen Park (in Beat Down on B Dup) and Idlewood (in Grove 4 Life).
The Johnsons 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, Russian Mafia and San Fierro Rifa goons in the factory to reach the top floor, where he finds Big Smoke. The two get involved in a gunfight, 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 his injuries inflicted by Carl. Carl shows remorse for Smoke but is interrupted by Tenpenny, whom he later chases, before crashing 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', a reference to his betrayal of the Grove Street Families. Some believe it to be an acronym for 'a two-ton motherfucker', a reference to his weight, and some believe it to be a reference to the Cypress Hill song 'A to the motherfucking K', which was released in 1993 (a year after the events of GTA San Andreas).
- Big Smoke previously drove a black Perennial, until it was destroyed by the Ballas.
The beta version of Big Smoke is shown wearing a white Los Santos Saints jersey and black trousers, with Smoke having a bald head, which can be seen on the statue of Smoke in the drug manufacturing factory in East Los Santos. Or on the back of the PS2 case (Top, Middle) and also Sweet, and Ryder without his hat and his sunglasses.
- GTA San Andreas
- The Introduction
- Big Smoke (Boss)
- Sweet & Kendl
- Tagging Up Turf
- Cleaning the Hood
- Nines and AKs
- OG Loc (Boss)
- Running Dog (Boss)
- Wrong Side of the Tracks (Boss)
- Just Business (Boss)
- Reuniting the Families
- The Green Sabre (Betrayal)
- End of the Line (Killed)
- Sometimes, after Carl receives a haircut from Old Reece, Reece can sometimes be heard asking Carl to tell Big Smoke to get a haircut, even though he is bald.
- Big Smoke is shown to have two large bullet holes in his armour following the shootout during End of the Line, regardless of how he is killed. It is even possible to kill him in a single punch if the "Super Punch" cheat is turned on, and the bullet holes will still show up on his armour.
- ↑ Official Playstation 2 Magazine AU July 2004