15 Years Later, I Can’t Stop Thinking About This Nickelodeon Theme Song

Keke Palmer’s iconic sitcom jingle remains one of the catchiest songs ever.

15 Years Later, The 'True Jackson, VP' Theme Song Still Slaps

In 2020, the theme song from a 2008 Nickelodeon show, True Jackson, VP, started making the rounds on TikTok. Fans created fun choreography to one of Keke Palmer’s first-ever songs, and Palmer even joined in on the trend, using it to tease a potential reboot, which never came to fruition.

This month, True Jackson, VP turns 15, and I’ve found myself watching the show again, in which a stylish 15-year-old (Palmer) is named vice president of a clothing brand’s youth division, making her the youngest corporate executive... well, probably ever. It has looks, laughs, and shenanigans aplenty, but the best part of the viewing experience is hearing the jingle.

Palmer co-wrote the show’s theme song with Toby Gad, the pop maestro behind Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy” and Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and while it arguably stands toe to toe with those bops, it’s never gotten similar recognition.

It should join the ranks of “I’ll Be There For You” from Friends, “Everywhere You Look” from Full House, and “The Best of Both Worlds” from Hannah Montana — theme songs that effectively make up the small-screen’s Hall of Fame.

Keke Palmer on True Jackson, VP. Paramount+

Instead, it’s been left off the Internet's many “Best TV Theme Songs” lists. It’s not even officially available to stream. Since True Jackson, VP is currently on Paramount+, the easiest way to listen is by tuning in there. (For what it’s worth, the full song is available via some low-quality YouTube videos.)

Need convincing of its greatness? I decided to unpack why I can’t get it out of my head.

First, It’s Catchy AF

According to Genius Lyrics, the song is technically called “Change It Up,” even though the show’s credits refer to it as “True Jackson, VP.”

Like most sitcom theme songs, the intro is less than a minute, but it leaves you wanting more. From the first second, you’re overwhelmed by angelic synths, electric guitar riffs, and multiple hooks. “From my head to my toes, it’s all real and you know / Fresh and cool, it’s just what I do,” Palmer sings, before spelling out the titular character’s name for no apparent reason.

The auto-tune is excessive, yet it adds to the ambiance. None of the lyrics work grammatically, yet she sounds fabulous and aspirational enough that I’d take job advice from her.

Palmer’s opening rap verse, which is only heard in the full song, is both hilarious and charming — and even provides the ultimate life mantra: “I do what I love, and I love what I do.”

By the time Palmer-as-True declares, “I’m the new VP,” you’ll be pressing the rewind button.

It Makes Any Red Carpet Video Better

Palmer with designer Sergio Hudson at the 2023 Met Gala.Christopher Polk/WWD/Getty Images

After the 2023 Met Gala, one fan paired “Change It Up” with a clip of Palmer arriving at the event, in what looked like a glimpse into True Jackson’s future. “Now why does the True Jackson VP theme song EAT over this clip?” they asked.

Now imagine if the song played over every red carpet and runway show. People might actually start having fun at those events.

And It Earned Her Tons Of Fans

True Jackson, VP premiered the year after Palmer’s 2007 debut album, So Uncool, which didn’t make it to the charts or have big commercial success. (Her big acting breakout was the year before, in 2006’s coming-of-age film Akeelah and the Bee.)

“Change It Up” proved to television viewers, who might not have heard her album, that the actor could sing too. As the show was airing, her previous teen-pop jams like “Bottoms Up” gained traction among the Radio Disney fanbase, as evidenced by all the millennials reminiscing about it online.

When Palmer teased the show’s reboot on TikTok, they had an immediate request: “If they don’t use this song for the intro, I will be pressing charges!” one fan said, with another pleading, “KEEP THE THEME SONG I’M BEGGING YOU PLEASE.”

Keke Palmer on True Jackson, VP. Paramount+

Sadly, the online fandom hasn’t led to any tangible results, but last year she did remix “Bottoms Up,” so she seems amenable to revisiting the past, if the powers that be sign on.

In 2021, Jamie Lynn Spears remixed her Zoey 101 theme song “Follow Me”— co-written by her sister, Britney — reuniting some of the cast for a music video. Here’s to hoping that Palmer & Co. follow suit. It would be long overdue.