In this video, DubFX demonstrates his approach to live beat box looping.
He preps his material in about 30 seconds, educating the audience of random passers-bye on looping while he does it.
He uses minimal gear - basically a looper and a multi-effects pedal. His video Hip Hop, below, features a "geek's eye" view that lets you see his rig and also see how his performances rely on a carefully choreographed foot pedal dance.
No matter what your chosen style of music is, or what instrument you play, DubFX's music is a great example of how more gear is less important than having the right gear for what you want to do.
More DubFX performance videos are available at his site.