I don't think he stole the song Thiftshop. The similarities to the song he supposedly cribbed aren't that strong. (Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about.)
I think its a hard sell to say that being white is an advantage in hip-hop. White artists having that level of success in hip hop is still an anomaly outside of ICP circles. (Like crop circles but scarier.)
I don't think his lyrics about worrying that he was gay as a kid represent a lyrical #NoHomo but rather an honest telling of his personal experiences with homophobia, his own. Critics are leaving out the lines "Bunch of stereotypes all in my head." "A preconceived idea of what it all meant".
I don't think saying "I'd think that hip hop hated me" is him saying everyone in hip hip but him is homophobic. I think that's a huge stretch and skips the line "Have you read the YouTube comments lately?"
There are lyrics in Same Love and Thriftshop that I rejoice at hearing on mainstream radio. Both songs had some great things to say and said them to a big audience that needed to hear them.
I find it funny that he's accused of exploiting the momentum of the marriage equality movement. Right, because all those artists have been scoring all them hits doing hip hop tunes about marriage equality. It was a no-brainer. (/Sarcasm)
Could he have handled the awards thing better? Yeah. He could've been a fucking hero. I appreciate when people are heroic. I don't think "You were less than heroic!" is enough of a slight to justify much of the vitriol I've seen aimed his way.
I honestly don't know how the Grammies work. But lets not pretend that this isn't subjective. Did he have the best hip hop/rap album of the year. Probably not. Did the winners in any other category have the best whatever album of the year? Ever? Usually not, with occasional delightful surprises IN MY SUBJECTIVE OPINION! Of course I realize that institutional racism has historically played a role in who gets recognized, continues to play a role, and that is where I think his opportunity to be a hero was missed.
I think he's a good guy, who says some good things, and that his sudden rapid acceleration into HUGE success is probably a bit daunting. I think he's trying, and doing pretty well more often than not.
Not sure if this matters or not, but I'm not writing this as a huge fan of his music. I like Thrift Shop, a fun song that does a great job of mocking the label/status bullshit. I like the words and message of Same Love. I don't actually listen to him often at all.