Speaking exclusively to Hammer ahead of the release of new Megadeth album The Sick, The Dying...And The Dead!, on which Ice guests, Mustaine reveals that he and the hip hop veteran go back three whole decades, and that he's always had a lot of admiration for him.
"Yeah, it's been about 30 years," Mustaine says. "I like Ice a lot. I really admire what he's done. He's a talented person. The opportunities he was presented with, he made them work for him. He did what a lot of the artists from the cities, deep down in the cities, would do. He talked about the blight and the hardships and how they were going to make it, and that determination is always a great motivator, whether you're white or black. Listening to the music he makes, it's still motivational. My favourite line I heard him say, right in the beginning, was something like, 'My mind's a lethal weapon and I'm going down the library to get some more ammo' ['They can't mess with me cause I'm too smart for them out there, you kno what I'm sayin'? / Fully strapped, always packed / Go to the library and get some more ammo', from 1989's The Iceberg]. That's a great line, man."
"We just have a friendship that's based on us being outspoken in our genre," he continues, "and I think he's done it with savoir-faire, and he's really made a name for himself and opened a lot of doors for young black artists and actors. I love that."
Ice T, meanwhile, who also fronts rap metal band Body Count, first became aware of Mustaine thanks to the Megadeth man namedropping some of his work.
"I was aware of Megadeth, and my attention was brought to Dave Mustaine because there was some magazine that asked his favourite five albums of the year, and he said O.G. [1991's Original Gangster]," Ice explains. "That was odd, coming from the leader of a heavy metal act. So from that moment, I said, 'I gotta meet this guy.' And they created a meeting between me and him, and I met him at a record label someplace in Hollywood."
When asked how his political views stack up against Mustaine's given both men have always remained outspoken in the media over the years, Ice notes: "I'm not familiar with Dave's views. But politics, it's just politics, and I call them poli-tricks. They'll have you twisted, they'll have you fighting your best friend. I know for one fact Dave Mustaine is not a racist - I know that. I know if I was with Dave Mustaine and a fight broke out, me and him would fight our way out of that."
Read more from Dave Mustaine and Ice T in the new issue of Metal Hammer, out now. Order your copy here (opens in new tab).