She started her career in the music industry, producing music and commercials.
Ali served as an executive at SOLAR Records. In 1984, she founded her own label Renge Films to produce commercials. In 1994, Ali produced her first feature film Klash.
In 2003, Karolyn Ali was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for her film Tupac: Resurrection, she co-produced with Lauren Lazin and Preston Holmes.
Ali died on August 18, 2015 at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 70.