The holiday season brings many folks happiness and cheer, but no one is probably happier than Top Dawg Entertainment producer and engineer Derek “Mixed By Ali” Ali.
Ali was the victim of a car theft when he parked his BMW outside an Equinox Gym in Hawthorne, Calif. One of the items stolen was a hard drive, containing new and unreleased music that the engineer valued, worth more than $1 million.
Local police caught two men considered suspects who’d been linked to several car burglaries in the surrounding area near the gym, including the theft of a handgun that belonged to an off-duty officer. Fingerprints on the door of Ali’s car led local law enforcement to track down the suspects and led to the hard drive being returned to Ali. In a statement with the Los Angeles Daily News, Hawthorne PD Lt. James Royer said that Ali “…is very, very happy.” While Ali never specified whose music was on the hard drive and if it belonged to fellow TDE members like Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, SZA, Isaiah Rashad or others, the Grammy award-winning producer is relieved to have the items back in his possession.
“Basically these guys are serial car burglars,” Royer said. “They prey upon victims who leave items viewable from the outside.” Another hard drive is still missing from the theft, although it can’t be operated as it is encrypted, and Ali is looking to get that one back, as well. Security camera footage led to the capture of the two men, and after searching their home upon arresting the suspects, police found a depot of stolen goods. “We found gift cards, video recorders, Luis Vuitton bags, golf clubs,” Royer said. “We are up to 14 different victims.”
It seems that the suspects charged with the burglaries were sitting on a goldmine of music stolen from Ali and were none the wiser about it. “I don’t think he knows what he had,” Royer said.