5 reasons why fans love Ryder from GTA San Andreas

"You know me, Sweet, cool as a Shaolin monk!" (Image via
"You know me, Sweet, cool as a Shaolin monk!" (Image via

GTA San Andreas is a memorable experience thanks to highly quotable characters, and one of the most noteworthy is Lance "Ryder" Wilson.

The first act of San Andreas takes place in Los Santos, where Carl "CJ" Johnson has to deal with continual gang warfare. Representing the Grove Street Families (at least for a time), Ryder is constantly at odds with CJ. No doubt he put the word "busta" in the vocabulary of several GTA players.

Despite his antagonistic nature, Ryder is second only to Big Smoke in terms of memorable supporting characters in Los Santos. His death is often seen as a complete waste, given he is reduced to a minor enemy later in the game. Nevertheless, Ryder still has GTA fans who want him to go out a better way.

Looking at why Ryder from GTA San Andreas is beloved

5) Ryder can be funny at times


Needless to say, Ryder spouts hilarious one-liners with the killing precision of a sniper bullet. He is not afraid to call out CJ (and, by extension, the GTA player) for their reckless driving. Ryder may be prone to childish insults, but they are worth a good chuckle or two as he speaks with such bravado.

It's a shame Ryder and Big Smoke are some of the funniest GTA characters in the game, considering their shocking betrayal later in the story. Ryder is entirely delusional, yet fans have to admire his confidence.

He is one of the reasons why San Andreas is special. Comic relief is an important way to cope with difficult situations. While the game does take itself seriously, it also provides humor at the right moments.

Ryder is among several characters who bring a smile across the face of a GTA player.

4) He truly represents the gangster lifestyle


Ryder never finished high school due to, in his own words, being too smart for his own good. In the real world, he was a drug dealer who once laid hands on a teacher for wearing purple, which is Ballas colors. At that point, Ryder was Grove Street for life. This is all he ever knew.

GTA is a criminal world where only the strong can survive. Ryder rose to power in his respective gang, despite Grove Street no longer being what it once was. Their anti-drug stance allowed Ballas to take over the streets. Perhaps, for this reason, Ryder decided to cash in his checks with the rival gang instead.

Ryder is uncompromising in his beliefs. He is a gangster, first and foremost, and he lets everybody around him know it. Whether he robs a house or steals weapons from the military, Ryder does it for money and fame. Unfortunately, he talks a big game but never backs it up the way CJ does.

3) Ryder can be unpredictable


Most street hustlers would never think twice about taking on a military base; it's a complete mismatch in firepower. Ryder isn't like any other gangster, however. Instead, the self-proclaimed genius considers it his duty to steal high-grade weaponry from the National Guard Depot.

CJ certainly didn't wake up one morning thinking he would throw explosive crates at pursuing military personnel. It's not easy to predict Ryder's next move, and that's what makes him especially dangerous.

For example, he might feel like robbing a pizza parlor with a paper-thin disguise. Despite his major faults, Ryder is never boring to be around.

2) He has good chemistry with CJ


Although the two never get along in their appearances, Ryder and CJ always have fun interactions with each other. They often argue over criminal matters like driving and shooting, which is an enjoyable listen during GTA missions.

Ryder and CJ can trade insults for days, depending on the subject matter. Their personal rivalry is a highlight of the Los Santos section, given their wild antics, crazy situations, and witty banter.

Sadly, when the GTA player has to put down Ryder in the Pier 69 mission, he never makes an attempt on CJ's life. Instead, he tries to run away unsuccessfully. If only he hadn't betrayed Grove Street, he would still be alive.

1) Ryder is voiced by rap artist MC Eiht


Aaron "MC Eiht" Tyler delivers a resounding performance in San Andreas. He brings authenticity to the role of Ryder, as he never takes half-measures with his dialog. The rapper gives it his all, which is what makes Ryder so memorable with his lines.

One of the more famous songs in San Andreas is from Compton's Most Wanted, entitled The Hood Took Me Under. GTA players should recognize the voice of Ryder since MC Eiht wrote and performed the song.

The actor also helped mix the main theme song for the GTA 5, along with Freddie Gibbs. It can be found on The Lab radio station, which features hits from gangster rap, electronica, and hip-hop genres.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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