GTA: San Andreas - Characters
The characters in any game are as important to any game's storyline as any other element. While location and time frame may eventually give the game world its definition, the storyline itself will be what people remember when they think of the Johnson family's exploits in San Andreas. Read on to learn about homicide, murders and of course rap.

Carl "CJ" Johnson
The game's main character, Carl, had difficulties in his home city of Los Santos, San Andreas, a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Hoping to relieve these pressures, Carl distanced himself from his friends and family by moving to Liberty City.

Now, five years later, his mother's been killed and he's headed back to the Grove to meet with his family again. When Carl arrives back in Los Santos, he's greeted by Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Polaski, two corrupt cops with a vendetta against the Johnson family. They take an odd route and end up in the turf of a rival gang, the Ballas. Carl is thrown from the car, left with no weapons and his only means of escape is a bicycle he spots sitting beside the road. Pedalling furiously, Carl eventually manages to escape back to his home street, only to find out he's been framed for Homicide. CJ's attempts to take back the streets and clear his name will take him across the entire state of San Andreas, visiting far flung places like Las Venturas and smaller towns like Dillimore and Angel Pine. A journey encompassing the diversity of an area this size involves meeting plenty of other people, and Carl will always have the other Grove Street Familes gang members to back him up.

Carl is voiced by Young Maylay.
Sean "Sweet" Johnson
Carl's brother Sweet is the most headstrong member of the gang. He's definitely the most dedicated member of the game, and at some stages his family turmoil means he'd put the gang before anything else in his life. Carl's desertion of his family and friends five years ago means that Sweet doesn't initially get along with him, but once his "debts are paid" the brothers return to a very united friendship.

Sweet is voiced by Faizon Love, who's also credited on films like 2003's Elf and 2001's Made.
Lance "Ryder" Wilson
Ryder's often seen as being a homage to late rapper Eazy-E, from NWA. Famous within the gang as having an extremely short temper, Ryder's character often sees him described as a "loose cannon". He too can't forgive Carl for running off to Liberty City for half a decade, and picks fault with Carl's driving. Heavily involved in crime, Ryder's first main appearance in the game sees him and Carl trying (and failing) to rob a local pizza restaurant which is part of Grand Theft Auto's favourite chain The Well Stacked Pizza Co.

Ryder is voiced by MC Eiht, a California born rapper who's also starred in Menace II Society.
Jefferey "OG Loc" Martin
Wannabe Gangsta rapper, Jefferey Martin is absolutely no threat to the state of San Andreas. Aside from a few unpaid parking fines, he's squeaky clean. His music, described as "a whole new style of hip hop, fusing dancehall reggae, nursery rhymes and straight gangsta into a str8 bundle of energy and hatred", is something that the Los Santos Police Department advise you do not listen to, and others claim he's the worst rapper ever to have picked up a mic. You can make your own decision on the rapper who lives near the Orange Grove Families members by clicking here.
Melvin "Big Smoke" Harris
Smoke's a big guy and certainly uses this to his advantage when the gang are looking for somewhere to eat. He has aspirations to create a drug business in nearby San Fierro but lacks the support of the gang. Will his desire for wealth overtake his loyalty to his friends?

Smoke is voiced by Clifton Powell,who will appear in Brothers in Arms later in 2005 and made notable appearances in Menace II Society and Rush Hour.
Barry "Big Bear" Thorne
Barry "Big Bear" Thorne was first seen in one of the earliest San Andreas screenshots, firing furiously from a Greenwood. Closely aligned with the Orange Grove Families, expect Thorne to play a key role in the many missions involving the whole gang. Expect to see him loitering in the Grove, ready to be recruited.
Madd Dogg
Described as a true rap "legend", Madd Dogg now plays a role on Radio Los Santos, one of the game's eleven radio stations. His music has sold by the truckload in the past, and he enjoys a lavish lifestyle, his mansion in the Vinewood Hills is his San Andreas residence. His reclusive nature keeps him away from the gang troubles that go on below him in areas like Vinewood and Ganton. However, his fame and fortune carry a price - he's become addicted to alcohol and cocaine.
Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson, the ten year old brother of Carl Johnson, plays a key role in the storyline of San Andreas. Fed up with the gansgter life, Carl fled to Liberty City where he wanted to start a new life. Five years later, Brian and his mother were murdered in a gang war. This incident is what brought Carl back to the Orange Grove Families, ready to avenge the death of his mother and brother.
Kendl Johnson
Although Kendl Johnson, the sister of Carl, does not play a big role in the game, she is an interesting character in the game. There are no signs of any relationship between her and the Orange Grove Families. However, Kendl does have a relationship with Cesar, a member of the Orange Grove Families. Carl does not like the fact that Cesar and Kendl are together and he always tries to break them apart (as seen in the second San Andreas trailer).
Old Reece
Old Reece is the owner of his self-named barbershop. Good for a place to chat, gossip, and to get haircuts, Old Reece's Barbershop is like a local landmark. Old Reece has been Carl's barber since he was a child and he is like a fatherly figure. Be sure to meet up with Old Reece to get the best 'do's in town!

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