Nas is getting his hands dirty, and the tech world is taking notice.

The legendary rapper and his manager, Aymen Anthony Saleh, have invested in some 40 startups, many of which you may use or have heard about. To name a few: Fancy, Coinbase, Rap Genius, Prism Skylabs, Zest Finance, Stance, mParticle, Proven, Earbits, Trendabl, Crowdtilt, 21E6, Balanced, MeCommerce, DeviantArt, 500 Startups, Push IO, Swarm Mobile, Glio, Boosted Boards, MadeFire, Fashion GPS, Washio, SellSimple, Hotelzilla, Signal Ventures, Clean Plates, BOXC, MediaSpike, CapLinked, and SendHub. And that's just the tip of the ever growing iceberg. As Pando Daily reports, "50 percent of [Nas and Saleh's] overall portfolio is now dedicated to startup investing."

Yet, celebrities in Silicon Valley have a bad rap, no pun intended. It's no secret that startups are all the rage right now, and many Silicon Valley heads recognize that celebrities who know nothing about tech are blindly throwing money at startups, hoping they can get in on the next Facebook or Twitter. Venture capitalists even have a name for this Hollywood cash: dumb money. But Nas and Saleh say they recognize this, and they're committed to working and learning with successful investors.

“When you start doing business with people in tech and you tell them you can deliver on certain things, and you actually deliver, then your relationship starts growing as someone who can be relied upon. It’s as simple as that,” Saleh said. “There is no secret formula to it.”

“We’re all gut,” he continued, “we also invest alongside a lot of folks that know what the hell they’re doing.”

[via Pando Daily]