It's been three years since local 3 Da Hardway recording artist Kingdom dropped a jewel from his crown. The game has changed somewhat since the release of his debut record, I Reign Omnipotent, in 1998, but the just-released followup, Life As I Know It, shows why this rapper remains one of the top dogs in Denver hip-hop. In between records, Kingdom maintained his regal status by winning a few awards for Best Rapper in the Westword Music Showcase; last year he represented Denver in a battle-rap competition sponsored by The Source. Now Kingdom plans to expand into new markets with Life, which features cameos from high-profile acts such as De La Soul (who appear on the single "The Unexplainable"). Maybe with this album, Kingdom can do for Denver what Nelly did for St. Louis? In celebration of Life As I Know It, Kingdom will be joined by some of the Mile High's best MCs, including Don Blas, Nyke Loc and the Hilltop Clique, during a CD-release party on Saturday, September 1, at the Gothic Theatre.