He tells us Coolio was all about positivity ... and was a good friend all this time -- adding he'll be missed.
Ice also says he's taking the weekend off from performing after learning about his bud's death ... because he doesn't think he's in the right mindset to put on a show.
As we reported, Coolio's last performancewas with Ice ... coming out onstage with him last week to freestyle during his set. V.I. says he had no clue this performance would be his last -- he was more focused on how honored he was to have such a legend up there with him.