Unlike other Korean record labels, their record label JYP Entertainment opted to promote them with a more mature than “pretty-boy” image.
2PM debuted with their single “10 Jeom Manjeome 10 Jeom” (10 Points Out Of 10 Points) on September 4, 2008. On October 17, 2008, they began promotion of “Only You”, another song from their debut mini album “Hottest Time of the Day.”
On April 16, 2009, the group released their second mini album 2:00PM Time For Change, which they began promoting on April 23. On May 9, 2009, they won their first Mutizen Song award on M!Countdown since their debut; in the same week, they won their second Mutizen on SBS Inkigayo.
The group earned their third Mutizen the following week, completing the triple crown and making them ineligible to win for the following weeks. However, the award that had been eluding them – Music Bank – was quickly won soon after. On June 11, 2PM began promotions for “Niga Mipda” (I Hate You) on M!Countdown. On July 2 and 3, 2PM achieved first place on the M!Countdown and Music Bank charts for the song “Niga Mipda”. They achieved the triple crown for the song on M!Countdown by July 16. On July 30, 2PM won the ‘Only One Song’ award on M!Countdown.
On September 4, 2009, articles surfaced on the internet regarding Jaebeom’s posts from 2005 on his personal Myspace account, in which he expressed his dislike for Korea while still a trainee for JYP Entertainment. Jaebeom issued an apology regarding this matter. Although outraged protesters demanded that Jaebeom should be forced out of 2PM, JYP Entertainment CEO Park Jin-young stated on September 7 that he was going to continue to remain part of the group. The following day, Jaebeom announced on his official fancafe that he would be leaving the group and returning to the United States, with plans of going back to school and bettering his understanding of music, and also apologized to the other 2PM members for not being a good leader and older brother to the group. Park Jin-young has confirmed that he will respect the singer’s decision, and that 2PM will continue on as a 6-member group. Additionally, due to the sensitive topic of Jaebeom’s departure, all 2PM members were withdrawn from their regular appearances on variety shows.
The group finished re-filming their music video for “Heartbeat”, the title song of their first full-length album, without Jaebeom on October 31, 2009. During a press conference, it was revealed that Jaebeom’s vocals would not be removed from the songs. The day after the now 6-member 2PM’s full-length album was released, Park Jin-young released a statement that Jaebeom would return as a member of 2PM if he wanted to make a comeback, while indicating that his return was not imminent. In further support of Jaebeom’s place in the group, the six 2PM members have also decided to distribute their income from their 1st album with him, sending him an equally divided amount of the earnings.
The group’s first full length album, titled 1:59PM, was released on November 10, 2009. Both the album and title track, “Heartbeat”, quickly rose to the #1 position on multiple music sales charts. The group made their first comeback performance, signifying the beginning of their promotional activities for the album, on M.Net’s ‘O Good Concert’ on Thursday, November 12, 2009, subsequently making their KBS Music Bank, MBC Music Core and SBS Inkigayo comebacks on Friday, November 13, Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15, respectively.
On November 20, 2009, 2PM performed at and was honored with two awards by the M.net Asian Music Awards (previously known as M.net KM Music Festival): the award for Best Male Group and Artist of the Year (the latter being one of the three most prestigious awards, or “Daesang”s, at the show, which also include Song of the Year and Album of the Year). The group paid homage to him during their performance of “Again & Again”, in which a spotlight was shown over Jaebeom’s usual position in the dance formation and his vocals were not replaced.